When thinking about this post a few days ago, I stood silent a moment, too shocked to speak.
In Romans, it clearly states that NO ONE is good no not one! So why would Goodness be one of the fruits of the spirit? Why demand something you know the person can’t give? Was there a typo in the Bible?!
The reason, I soon discovered, is because I wasn’t thinking from the right perspective. I was looking in the wrong place!
If you define the word goodness, you get this:
But if you define the word good? You get a TOTALLY different definition! And I think this one is exactly what we’re looking for!
You see, we should seek God’s approval and earnestly desire to please Him. If we’re doing this and succeeding, then we’re being good, like the definition says above.
We can’t succeed.
It’s utterly impossible! We can’t please God to the extent that He deserves. Nothing we do can reach the point where God looks at us and says, “Well done my faithful servant, you are GOOD.”
As it says in Isaiah 64:6
“But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…”
So, that was the bad news. The good news? We can’t succeed in fulfilling ANY of the fruits of the spirit to the extent that we should! Now, I know that sounds like bad news too, but stick with me.
If we’re striving to please God and do our very best, that’s all we CAN do. God understands that, and He knew that we would never be able to reach His standards. That's why He sent His Son to be the perfect sacrifice that we could never be.
The reason this is good news, is because we don’t have to be GOOD in order to fulfill that fruit of the spirit. We just need to strive towards that goal with the best of our ability, just like we strive to be faithful, loving, kind, patient, gentle, etc.
And how do we do that? By doing things that please the Lord and bring glory to His name.
A couple of scriptures to think about:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15
What are some ways we can do things for the glory of God?
I received a certain email right before I sat down to write this post. I don’t think it was ironic that the sermon excerpt attached was pretty much on the topic of goodness. I think it was the Lord’s timing!
So instead of listing ways we can please the Lord, I’ll leave you with a single thought, along with the link to this 6-minute, 14-second episode by John Piper. (Trust me, your life won’t be the same after you listen to it!)
As you do every task, pleasurable activity, etc. this week. Think of these four words as you do so,
“Is this glorifying God?”
Because if the answer is “no,” I urge you to stop doing it. Don’t go a step further before you figure out why it isn’t glorifying Him. Then, endeavor to either put it aside if it’s overtly wrong, or change your attitude and motive so that it’s pleasing to the Lord.
Let’s strive to make sure that EVERYTHING we do is bringing glory to His name!
With humble hearts, let’s all strive to become more like Christ and take these things to heart.
Let's all be joyful, willing, servants of our King.
PLEASE don’t miss this short excerpt of Piper’s sermon! It will completely revolutionize your thinking process on this topic!