But the fruit of the Spirit is…goodness…. Galatians 5:22
In our so-called modern world, goodness seems too goody-goody, right? Many people, especially “those Christians,” show such goody-goody goodness that it’s nauseating. If “goodness” is a state of displaying moral excellence and virtue, then some people take it to a level of annoying irritation. On the flip side, some folks who our pop culture says are full of goodness (by the measure pop culture uses to judge such things) seem lacking in that moral excellence and virtue. If you’re one of those goody-goody Christians, you (and I) are strangers in a strange land that looks like what used to be home.
The better way? Grace and mercy. Indeed, displaying Jesus’ grace and mercy (along with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and a few more) is the single best way to display goodness. Acting out these fruits of Jesus’ Spirit shows the world His characteristics. It shares a little bit of Jesus with folks who may not know Him, or folks whose knowledge of Him is growing stale. Let’s put aside our ‘judgyness’ and let Jesus do the work.
Perhaps our perceptions of what is “good” or “goodness” change with where we are and what we know. No, I’m not talking about compromising with sin, and I’m not saying that truth is relative (because it isn’t). But what I consider to good may differ from your view. Example: I know who my heroes are and why they’re my heroes. I’m sure you have your own and for your own reasons, which’ll be different from mine. That’s ok. God understands individuality. He created us to be individuals.
But His goodness is the standard by which we must judge all “good.” If it isn’t Godly-good, then it isn’t good; our perceptions don’t enter into it. All good in the world starts in God. He gifts it to us to tend and grow. We aren’t good simply by wearing a suit to church, memorizing loads of Bible verses, volunteering for every mission trip, always “being involved,” writing a blog, having the perfectly behaved family, and more. And we aren’t good just because the media or a bunch of strap-hangers say so.
We aren’t good, and things aren’t good, because of what we do or because we like them. You and I have goodness in us because Jesus’ Spirit lives in us. Goodness is part of who He is. When we live out His characteristics, and when we’re graceful & merciful to people, then we increase the odds that those other people may want to know more about the Lord. And that’s always a good thing.
For further reading: Galatians 5:22-23
Lord, remind me today that the only goodness within me is Your Spirit that You put here.
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