This is June and we are working our way through the fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” This month we are dealing with goodness. We kind of skimmed through kindness, but I know you are all aware of what Christ says about kindness.
Goodness is described in my dictionary as decency, morality, honesty, integrity, righteousness, rightness, and character. So what it is basically saying is we are to be decent, moral, honest, have integrity, be righteousness and have good character. That is a lot to digest. Not only is it hard to digest, but it is hard to live by every one of these all the time. We live in a fallen world and we are surrounded by people who push our buttons, test us on every side and then we have to deal with the media. The media alone challenges our morality and our decency.
So what exactly is goodness? It includes an absolute commitment to doing good over doing evil and doing what is right over doing what is wrong.
So what do we do with goodness as a fruit of the Spirit? Like all the other fruits I think it is something we work on every day of every week of every month of every year until Christ comes back. We will often take one or two steps forward, something happens and we slip back the same number of steps. We will never be good enough. We can’t. Christ knows that, but he does expect us to practice being good. Because we can’t be good enough God offers us grace.
Like all the other gifts I think we have to choose how we use this gift. Do we use it wisely or do we ignore it? When we get up of a morning we can choose to put these fruits of the Spirit to work in our lives or we can choose to live as we please.
For the most part I think we are taught to be good as children. We are taught (hopefully) right from wrong. I can remember from my children and grandchildren (and if may mom was still alive she might even said I did it too at some point) we had to teach them you don’t take candy, or gum or anything else from the grocery store’s shelf. A few times I had my child or I have seen my daughters walk our children back in and make the child tell the store clerk what happened and make them pay for it. Being good is taught in most homes most of the time.
Somewhere along the line we become adults and what we thought was good gets distorted. For instance, we are taught not to steal candy, gum or anything else from the store, but as adults we don’t think about stealing time from our employers as we play on our phones. Is it really wrong to stretch the truth when it comes to paying taxes?
We are taught not to use fowl language as children, but somewhere along the lines as adults we let those words slip in and we aren’t ashamed of it, or it doesn’t bother us.
I believe in free speech. I believe that is a right I have, but if I am following God and I am being challenged to live a life of goodness is it right for me to say what ever I think even if it brings someone else down? Or destroys someone?
God calls us to live a life of goodness. He also knows how difficult it can be, but I am thinking if we could just get back to what our parents taught us, what our churches taught us as kids and even our teachers in school the world would be a different place. We need to open our Bibles more and study exactly what goodness is and how to apply it to our daily lives.
Being good is making that conscious effort to do good, to do what is right and to follow Christ’s example. It’s up to us to make those conscious efforts. We can blame others for our failure to do good, but in the end it’s a choice we make not others. I would want to do something as a kid. I always used the argument, “well so and so is doing it.” My dad would always come back with, “Well, if so and so jumped off the cliff would you do it?” We can choose to not follow the way of the world and do what God calls us to do which is to live a live full of goodness or we can follow the world today and not be so good.
There are too many today living a life that is not so good. There are too many who want to be mentors to our children that are not setting good examples. There are many in Hollywood that are not setting the examples, our parents, pastors, and teachers taught us. We have a choice to make? Are we going to jump off the cliff with them or are we going to walk away and live a Godly life full of goodness?
Dear God, it’s hard to lead a life of goodness all the time. I praise you and thank you for your grace and mercy. I will never be good enough, but help me as I work toward being better each day preparing myself for the day you return and take me home. Amen