So here’s a random thought. What if God wasn’t good? What if the creator of the universe – of you and me, wasn’t good? It’s an inconceivable thought. The word good itself comes from God, and our culture is steeped in the idea that God is good. This is clear by the way we use the word ‘good’. So for example we say ‘Good Bye’ many times a day. it’s just a phrase spoken casually as we part company with someone, but it started as the blessing, ‘God be with you’, spoken as you sent someone on their way or on a journey.
The tough thing is that although God is so good, and only wants to do people good, the devil has managed to make himself invisible to modern man and to get people to blame God for things that go badly wrong. There is that terrible phrase the insurance companies use when something really bad happens and it can’t be explained, they call it ‘an act of God’. So often we hear things, even from non believers like, ‘Why does God hate me’ when something goes badly wrong for them. In our world, in spite of being pure goodness, God so often gets the blame for all that the fall has caused, and all that the enemy does too.
If we understand that the fruit of the Spirit are produced in us because Christ lives in us by His Spirit, then, when it comes to thinking about the fruit that is growing in me, the fact that God is good is such a wonderful truth. It’s an incredible thought that the Lord wants to grow His ‘Goodness’ in me. He actually wants my life to show the world how ‘good’ He is. Jesus made it clear to the rich young ruler that there was ‘only one who is good’, Matthew 19:17, and we have that awesome privileged of ‘representing’ Him here and now in our world.
We know that Jesus ‘went about doing ‘good’ and healing all who were under the power of the devil’, Acts 10:38, and that He called Himself ‘the Good Shepherd’, John 10:11. We know that we ourselves have been ‘created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’. Ephesians 2:10. Paul encouraged his friend Titus to encourage his fellow believers to ‘devote themselves to doing what is good’, Titus 3:8, and he encouraged the Galatians ‘to do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers’. Galatians 6:10. Jesus even told the people ‘Do good to them that hate you’. Matthew 5:44.
When it comes to ‘doing good’ however it is not always as straight forward as it sounds. As we know, when we follow His life through the Gospels, Jesus always had that wisdom to know what ‘the good thing’ would be in different situations and with different people; but what about us?
“What would Jesus do”, is a good place to start, but we won’t be able to do what Jesus would do without the indwelling Spirit giving us the ‘wisdom from above’ and producing in us the beautiful fruit of ‘goodness’. Once again I do believe that, when we are in any situation where we are wanting to ‘represent’ the Lord well and ‘do good’, thanksgiving is the key to both receiving that wisdom and the grace, to do that good that the Lord prompts us to do.
Today let us simply thank the Lord that He is good and that He is working in my life to make me more like Jesus. He is with me everyday, so that I can be a show case for His goodness in a cynical and unbelieving world. We can spend precious time bemoaning the bad things that are happening in our world, or we can choose to thank God today, so that we can be a releaser of His goodness into the world; into our workplace, our family, our neighbourhood, even our church.
We can do this by letting the Holy Spirit pour into our hearts thoughts and suggestions for acts of goodness and kindness. We can let Him pray through us for situations beyond our control or influence, and we can speak out goodness and kindness whenever the opportunity arises, remembering, as Jesus pointed out, it is ‘out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks’, Matthew 12:34.