What is the good life?
Welcome to “Inside The Cup Podcast” with Mike and Holly Walsh
Season 1: “How to Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”
Episode 1: “A Good Person”
Contrary to the scripts we hear today, the good life is found in becoming a good person. A good person is someone who is filled with God’s agape love. So how do we become a good person? We become a good person through the process of discipleship to Jesus.
Discipleship to Jesus will include following the instructions Jesus gave to his disciples found in Matthew 28:18-20, The Great Commission. And part of this assignment will include learning how to do the things that Jesus taught.
Season 1 of Inside The Cup Podcast will take one of the teachings of Jesus, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and teach you how to actually do it.
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A Good Person. Episode 1, (03/03/22)
Season 1: How to Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
Mike: Welcome to Inside The Cup Podcast, episode one of season one. And we’re going to be talking about: “How to Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.” So, I thought we would start off this episode one with a big question, a way out there question. So, Holly, what is the good life?
Holly: Oh, the good life. The good life is: the baby slept through the night, and I got to drink my coffee hot in the morning, and none of the kids asked for anything. They just got dressed without me even asking them. Our house is clean, and big, and beautiful. And yesterday, I had three parents come up to me and tell me how wonderful I am parenting my children. And everyone just knows that I have it all put together. That is…sounds like a good life.
Mike: That does sound like the good life. So, where we’re going with that, is that’s obviously not the good life. But in our culture right now, you know, the things that we hear: the good life consists in possessions, you know, having money or having stuff, or accumulating wealth. In fame…
Holly: Because a brand-new minivan does make you feel pretty good.
Mike: Well, it kind of does, right? The second part is status, right? On fame, honor, recognition, how you’re viewed among your peers. That’s another common script that we get for what the good life is, holding a high place in that area. Or in power. Your authority. Being a position where people look up to you, you know, you…you say the word and things happen. Having great resources to get things done and control things. Those would be some of the common scripts that we get in our day for what the good life is, and we find ourselves chasing things like that.
Holly: Chasing things that aren’t eternal.
Mike: And actually don’t lead to the good life is what we’re going to be suggesting.
Holly: That isn’t the actual good life. We believe that the good life actually consists of becoming a good person.
Mike: Yeah. So, hang on, let’s go with that because that’s a little countercultural, right? So. If we’re being told that the good life, consists in accumulating wealth, and status, and all these things. Now we’re suggesting something countercultural. Actually, the good life is not found in those things. The good life is found in becoming a good person.
Holly: In our culture, what would be a good person might be somebody that is doing a bunch of good deeds, good things, reaching out to a bunch of people, helping a bunch of people. Those are all great things, but what would actually be a good person?
Mike: Yeah. So, we’re going to take the…really the biblical answer, right? From the Judeo-Christian tradition, the answer of “who is a good person?” is somebody who’s filled with God’s agape love.
Holly: A loving person.
Holly: Like Jesus.
Holly: Gentle and lowly, and slow to anger, kind.
Mike: And there’s nothing wrong with, you know, serving, doing things for your neighbor, or charity, or those kind of things. Those are all good things. But we’re talking about something different here. What we’re talking about is being, really, filled to the brim with God’s love. That’s a good person or a loving person.
Holly: So that when times get hard and the stress is on, what comes out is actually a loving person.
Mike: It’s who you’ve become. So, how do I become a good person? The way that we go about doing it, the process that gets us there to become a good person or a loving person, is through discipleship to Jesus.
Holly: OK, well, we’re not really living in Jesus’ day, things are different. And, what would that actually look like in your life?
Mike: Well, I think that’s the idea that we’re after here is bringing this concept of discipleship to Jesus down to the everyday practical details of our…our real life. Right? We don’t want discipleship to Jesus to be some kind of theoretical thing that’s way out there and irrelevant to our life. We want the complete opposite. We want it to include, you know what you suggested, getting up in the morning, and the kids not getting dressed on time, and school, and interactions with friends. And that’s the kind of stuff that needs to be included in discipleship to Jesus.
Holly: So, what kind of person am I when my house is dirty, my baby didn’t sleep through the night, I didn’t get to drink my coffee, and my kids aren’t listening to me?
Mike: Oooh, now that actually may reveal exactly what kind of person we are, right? And at a certain point, you can put yourself…you can hold yourself together and keep up this façade and everything and present yourself in a certain way. But oftentimes it’s when things aren’t going particularly well, and you start finding yourself irritable, and frustrated that some of that true character that might be deep down there, sneaks its way out even if you even if you don’t want it to.
Holly: Then I need some help from Jesus.
Mike: OK. So, if we’re looking at discipleship to Jesus, where we back up and go to is the Great Commission. So, this is found at the end of the book of Matthew. Jesus is actually surrounded by his disciples, and he’s giving them the job, right? He’s giving them the description on: “This is what you are going to be doing as my disciples.”
Holly: And what is that?
Mike: I think a helpful way to look at it is, there’s…the Great Commission has got an intro statement, a statement on the back end, but really there’s three inner parts. So, let’s just kind of break this down, right? So, if the opening part of the Great Commission is Jesus saying that he’s been given authority, he’s been given say, over all things in heaven and on Earth, that tells us who we’re following here. We’re behind somebody that has complete authority, complete power, and complete resources to make anything happen. There’s nothing impossible for God. If we look at the last statement on the Great Commission, Jesus promises us that he’ll be with us through, until the end. Until it’s complete or it’s done. Those two statements flank, really, the three inner parts of the Great Commission. So, let’s look at those. So, if we look at the three parts, we’ve got make disciples, we’ve got baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything Jesus commanded.
Holly: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. OK, my Bible. It had a little “dot, dot, dot.” It said “Make disciples, and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, dot, dot, dot.” It was right there when you like, write your name on the first page. It had a “dot, dot, dot.” So, what are you talking about “Teach them to obey everything Jesus commanded?”
Mike: Yeah. So, there we go. Right in the opening flap, Holly’s referring to in her in her study Bible, had an exact representation of what we’re talking about here. This is what Dallas Willard famously referred to as “the great omission” from the Great Commission. So, the third inner part of the Great Commission “teach disciples to obey everything that Jesus commanded,” is conveniently left out. And it’s…It’s strangely, like in your face left out, right? Your example from your Bible. It’s just cropped off and replaced with a “dot, dot, dot.” And we see that commonly, right? At a church we attended in the past, they had a…a tapestry hung on the wall that was for a global missions, and it had the exact same thing. You know, these verses from Matthew, and it ends at: “Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, dot, dot, dot.” What we’re going to be doing instead, is a direct attack on that. And we’re going to be taking this “great omission” on, head on. And that’s going to be the focus for this podcast, is taking the things of Jesus and teaching people how to actually do them.
Holly: So, we are going to focus on the three little dots after the Great Commission. That’s what the focus of this podcast is.
Mike: Filling in the dots.
Holly: Filling in the dots. Teaching disciples how to do what Jesus taught.
Mike: Yeah. So, the one that we’re starting off with first is the Greatest Command, right? Where Jesus said to…”to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, and love your neighbor as yourself are the greatest commandments. We’re going to focus on the second half of that, “that you would love your neighbor as yourself,” and we’re going to start with that command, teaching how to actually do it. But the way that we’re going to go about doing that is by becoming a disciple of Jesus, by being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, the Holy Spirit, and being taught specifically how to follow that command that Jesus gave us. Which, really is fulfilling the Great Commission, the job that Jesus gave his disciples to do.
Holly: So, in the next episode, we’re going to jump right in to “What is a disciple? What makes a disciple different than maybe a Christian? Or from any other person?
Mike: Yeah, or is there a difference? Right? If we’re going to be making disciples, we want to be really clear on what a disciple is. So, we’ll tackle that in some more detail next episode.
Music: Vlad Gluschenko — Travelling
License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en