A lesson from Dobby

I asked for the Harry Potter series for Christmas this year. I've watched all of the movies, but have never read the books, and since rumor has it, the books far surpass the movies, I figured I would tackle that series as my next fictional easy reading. My parents came to town this past weekend and we celebrated Christmas early since we'll be with Ben's family this year. Low and behold, as I opened my gifts, the Potter series was there! (Brief shout out to my mom who is amazing at Christmas gifts and stockings... seriously... Martha Stewart should do a show on her).  So this past week, I've used Harry Potter to procrastinate studying for finals.

As I was reading late one evening, there was a quote by Dobby that struck me. Dobby is an odd little character that we get introduced to in the beginning of book 2: Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets. You'll have to read the book to get the details, but the context is  that Dobby is meeting Harry Potter for the first time. After Harry shows kindness to this peculiar fellow, Dobby says with great admiration:

"Dobby has heard of your greatness, sir, but of your goodness, Dobby never knew."

I'm sure you know where this is going. After I read that quote, I sat there for a little while and thought about how true this is of how I approach God. Technically I know that God is good; it is something that I've been taught since I was a child. But often I forget His goodness in light of His greatness. I view God as sovereign, all-knowing, & powerful, but I forget that he is also good. Why is this the case?

To be honest, I think that I loose sight of God's goodness when I forget about the relational aspect of Christianity. When I become entrenched in religion, knowing the facts, doing the right things, avoiding the wrong things, this is when I loose sight of who God is and who I am in light of who He is.

Many theologians define this behavioral modification as moralist therapeutic deism. Matt Chandler pushes the issue by saying this to pastors this past June:

"If you've preached a lot of moralistic deism and haven't trained your people in what the Gospel is, then you will find them doing a slew of different things to try to mortify their sin and grow in godliness, most of which do not work and have no power."

What Chandler is getting at is that Christianity is not a religion where we simply believe in God and modify our behavior to be good people so that this sovereign God doesn't get upset with us. We do not view God as ONLY powerful, strong, & sovereign; we also see Him as good and loving. We see God not only as the ultimate judge, but we also see Him as the ultimate redeemer. And in light of this redemption, we are forever changed.

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 107:1)

Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! (Psalm 31:19)

Today may you see God not only as great, but also as good. Oh how sweet His Gospel is for those who believe.

Much love - B

Posted on December 17, 2010 and filed under Ordinary Life, Spiritual Journey.