A good friend of mine from my time here has been Logman Garayev, I’m sure I have mentioned him once or twice. Logman is a nice chap, very nice guy to be around. Every once in a while when I am over in his room after enjoying some tea and goof conversation and am about to leave he says something like. Mwansa you are a good guy. It’s a very interesting phrase that one, you are a good guy, I kinda like it. I accepted it from the first time I heard it up until recently when I thought about it. It is a compliment of course, from one friend to another showing appreciation of the other guy’s character but what does it really mean?
It is only natural to think of good and bad in terms of comparison, I mean, is there any other way to look at it. Me, being a good guy would be in some reference to other guys not being good guys. Maybe it would be in reference to how the characteristics that I have are things that he values and enjoys in his company with me, ergo I have good characteristics, not to be mixed up with features though I do have an absolutely smashing afro. At the end of the day the compliment remains a compliment and me being only human I enjoy the compliment. But then it hit me, Is it enough to be known as a good guy without people knowing why you are a good guy? Isn’t the reason just as important as the virtue?
To borrow and paraphrase Harold Abrahams from Chariots of fire, I am a Christian first and last. That is the reason behind the little good in me and it does disservice to the creator of the good not to give him credit for the goodness. This sets up two questions right of the bat, How and Why? These two questions are why you, my one reader, are here, so here goes.
How? To some extent being seen as a good guy is a step in the right direction in that at some level it must be seen that there is a difference between the Christian and the non-Christian. This is because it provides the opportunity to speak of why one is considered good. Jesus did so himself when called ‘good teacher’ and his example is the very answer to the question of ‘how?’ It is important that I expressly show and explain whenever the opportunity comes up why it would be that I am considered good. After all if anyone is aware that there is nothing good in me, it is me. I get to look into the mirror of introspection every day and see myself looking back and the sight is not pretty and so for someone to look at this mess and even think good guy, then the one who makes one good needs all the mentioning I can put in.
|Can't fault the saviors way in, straight and to the point|
As for ‘Why?’ That one would stem from the reason one would be considered good in the first place. Because I know what I really am, which is far from good, if anything good can be seen in me I must be sure to point in the direction of he who makes me look good that he may get credit. If I were to use a garden metaphor, at the end of the day grass, trees and flowers mask dirt, which is not the most appealing sight especially considering the manure that is also there. So if any credit at all should be given when one looks at a garden, shouldn’t it go to the one who made all look so good instead of the giving all credit to the garden itself. I give credit for all that I am and have to God because I know without a shadow of a doubt that he is the reason for it all and without him I am nothing. Strictly speaking there is no other option, ask an angel why it sings praise to God and you would likely see a puzzled face as he asks back, what other option is there for one so great as he.
I end with this. Being seen as good is not a bad thing but taking credit for what is good in me would be because there is little if any good in me. At times I may overlook this but all credit must go where it is due. I do like and appreciate all that God is doing in my life and that is why every time I hear those words from Logman as the door closes and I head to my room I usually pause and smile, God is doing a bang up job on this walking blob of dirt