What’s the “Good” Word

One of the many awesome things I get to do is teach people the Bible.  It is an amazing privilege to share with people God loves something God wrote.  The process is personal and I am so grateful to God for the opportunity and to my church for their patience with me as I so very often am working out my own faith right in front of them.

This summer I have been teaching from Galatians 5:22-23, the text that teaches us the fruit of the Spirit.  Each Sunday, we have look at a different aspect of this fruit and dive into them one at a time.  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, GOODNESS…

The fruit of the Spirit is what GOD produces in our life as we develop a connected and close relationship with HIM.  It is God who produces this fruit, not me.  It is my job to “walk” by the Spirit.

This week we talked about goodness and while I was studying I realized something, I could not remember ever hearing a sermon on goodness.  Let me clarify, I have heard many on the “goodness of God” and I have also heard many that left me feeling I need to be good, but I could not recall a single message on goodness when it comes to the life of the Christian.

The first task is defining Goodness.  Our culture defines goodness as the absence of badness.  When we say to our kids… “now you be good” we really mean, “don’t be bad.”   To define goodness in this manner does not fit into a biblical thought process.  Goodness is goodness not the absence of badness.

Another way we define goodness is on the “how do I compare with the next guy scale.”  It is why so many people say they are pretty good guys.  No real crime, no real enemies, no real big apologies to make… must be a pretty good person.  But this kind of thinking shapes our understanding of goodness as a subjective standard, not really measured by what we do, but rather by how we compare to someone else.

Goodness – the internal character of moral excellence that is demonstrated by how we proactively live out other virtues.  Simply stated, goodness is doing right for the right reason.

So, why goodness?  Why does goodness make the final cut of fruit God seeks to produce in me?  Why not courage?  Why not wisdom?  Why not discernment and insight?  Why goodness?

In all honesty, goodness feels soft.  We are in a spiritual battle, who in their right mind picks goodness as a weapon?  It feels like a butter knife in a world of swords…  Goodness?  Really? But if you were to take a cursory look at the Bible, here is a bit of what you would find.

We are told to overcome evil with Good Romans 12:21

We are told to be excellent at what is good Romans 16:18

We are told to take every opportunity to do good to all people Galatians 6:10

We are told to not grow weary in doing good Galatians 6:9

We are told to make every effort to add to our faith goodness 2 Peter 1:5

We are told to devote ourselves to doing good Titus 3:14

This is an impressive list… but here is an interesting (to me anyway) reason God chooses goodness.  The Bible says that HE (God) who began a GOOD work in me will be faithful to complete it. Goodness matters because it describes the work God started in me.  It comes from His goodness and it is designed to produce His life in me.   These were a few thoughts from Sunday, thanks for playing.  Off… we go now.

~ by OFF we go now on August 15, 2010.

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