Part 7 – “Goodness”
Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness . . . “
Have you ever known someone who is what I describe as a “deep down good person”? This is one who always sees the best in people, never has a negative thing to say, and always follows the rules. They don’t have to work at being good, it’s just who they are, and it is completely natural for them. I have a friend and co-worker whom I have often described this way. He is the embodiment of goodness through and through. I’ve worked with him for almost eighteen years and the one word that comes to mind when I think of him is “good”.
Goodness is one of the attributes we display as we mature and grow in Christ Jesus. Jesus is good and as we follow Him, we can’t help but to become good as well. It is definitely a process, and as I look back on who I was before I started following Him I can see where He has been working in my life and, although I have a long way to go, He and I together are making progress.
There are so many places in the Bible that talk about doing good. In 1 Timothy 6:18 it says, “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and wiling to share.” And in Ephesians 2:10 it says “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” These verses are talking about doing good deeds or good works which are important, but what about the goodness of the Lord that we should display in our day to day attitudes and actions? What about that “deep-down goodness”? How do we get that?
When we are in pain over the actions of our child, it is very difficult to feel, let alone show, the goodness of the Lord. We are anything but peaceful, joyful, patient or good. We are nervous, short-tempered, sad, and overwhelmed with frustration, anxiety, and fear. We are so consumed with what our child has done, is doing, or may do that we have lost sight of anything good in our lives. When we get to this point is it pretty much impossible to feel good about anything. And when we don’t feel good, we don’t act good and we certainly don’t display the goodness of God.
But the Lord good and when we acknowledge his goodness and call out to him as the Psalmist did in Psalms 109:21, “But you, Sovereign Lord, help me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love deliver me”, or in Psalms 69:16, “Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love; in your mercy turn to me”, we will be able to tap into His goodness. Notice that both scriptures mention the goodness of His love. Love is always the answer. When we love like Jesus loves we can’t help but be good.
Shifting our focus from what is happening with our child to the love and goodness of the Lord, will change everything for us. We will begin to relax in Him, and we will experience the joy, peace, and patience that the Bible talks about. As we seek Jesus in our day to day lives, we will be amazed at how things start to change in us. He alone is the answer to our pain. He represents the goodness that can be ours if we follow Him and open ourselves up to what He wants to do in us. He will help us be the deep-down good person He intends for us to be.
by Cathy Taylor