Friday, February 27, 2009

Are You Good Enough? Goodness, a Fruit of the Spirit

I can't count the number of times I say "Be good" in the course of just one day. With three young boys, there's always some situation prompting me to use those words. In fact, probably most of us can't even remember when we were first introduced to the concept of good and bad. Even though my youngest son is only nine months old, I give my husband the report on whether he's been a good baby or not. It's already started. . .

The older we get, the more we may become entrenched in being good in a different and more complex way. We want to know that we made a good score on a test, performed well in a sport or activity, got a good perfomance appraisal, and even if we did the right thing morally. These often performance-based measures are judged by scores, praise, and pats on the back.

While most of the time there may be nothing wrong with wanting to be good by other people's standards, there is a much different kind of goodness that emanates from relationship with the true and living God. He alone is our yardstick to measure if we are truly good. Likewise, reading and aligning ourselves up the Word is another way that we can measure our sincere goodness. Finally, letting the Holy Spirit be our guide will always lead us in a path destined for what's right, good, and true.

The world's watered down version of goodness is mostly superficial and temporal while God's goodness is abundant, everlasting, and satisfying. Bearing the fruit of goodness always means that you are connected to the true vine of Jesus Christ--you are faithful to God and full of kindness and generosity.

So, are you good enough? Ephesians 5:9 says, "For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord." So, goodness goes beyond the kind acts and words we may say to one another. Simply put, true goodness radiates God's unconditional love, grace and mercy.

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