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Monday, July 27, 2009

Spiritual Ingredient - Goodness

“...add to your faith goodness..."
from the text of
2 Peter 1:5-11

What does goodness mean to you? Simply put, it's being good, isn’t it? Other versions of this verse say moral excellence or virtue, all of which mean "the quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong". God wants us to be exemplary citizens, both of the Kingdom of God and of the society in which we live.

I've mentioned before that a motto we use in our home is: DO THE RIGHT THING 'CAUSE IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO! It sounds simple and easy, but we all know that doing the right thing isn't always easy. Sometimes the easier thing would be NOT doing the right thing. That's why it's so important for us to understand the "why" behind doing good.

I'll give you an example: My husband (as I've also mentioned) works for a Children's Home (Tipton Home). During the past two weeks he's been on vacation, but has had several "issues" to deal with involving the children there - stemming from minor problems to major problems. One of these problems involved a stolen item - an MP3 player of one of the teenagers. After a while the MP3 player was found or turned in by the "offender" and the people involved were all okay, because the item was found. But, my husband pointed out that there was still a problem because a "crime" had been committed. Just because the item was recovered, it didn't make the incident right. But, obviously, most of the children there haven't been taught the "whys" of doing things right. That's why that Home is help teach them what is right and wrong and to teach them WHY it is wrong.

So, why is it important to have goodness, or virtue, or moral excellence? Because we are to be imitators of Jesus, and because Christians are children of God. Gossiping, lying, cheating on income tax, stealing from the workplace (supplies, time, money, etc.), breaking the law by speeding, not wearing seat belts (in many states, if not all), littering, illegally copying music or downloading it from the computer - - you name it - - those types of things are things children of God and imitators of Jesus should not desire to be involved in. In fact, we should strive to avoid those things.

As Christians, we should be the most well thought of people in our communities or our circle of personal relationships. People should be able to tell if we are a Christian by way act, by the way we speak, by the way we respond to personal trials and conflicts. Yes, you and I will fall short. But, in our falling short, that is another way we can respond with a Christian attitude. Example: "You know, I messed up. I let you down and didn't set a good example for you. Would you please forgive me?" What a great way to show Jesus living in us by confessing to others if we do wrong! Of course, we must also confess these sins to God and ask for His forgiveness. That is showing "goodness", but because of what God has done for us - it's HIS goodness being shown through us!

So, here are some questions for you and I to ask ourselves:
1. What will it take for me to have goodness/moral excellence?
2. What character flaws have I been excusing?
3. If "goodness" is an ingredient, how much do I have?
4. Am I increasing the measure of the spiritual ingredient of goodness as 2 Peter 1:8 says to do?

"But the fruit of the Spirit is...goodness." Galatians 5:22

1 comment:

A.Marie said...

I love your motto; it is so true. What we do as parents, our children see and observe.

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