Where can you find goodness?
You look for it in behaviors that help and give guidance. You look for goodness in thoughtfulness, honesty, kindness, truthfulness, faithfulness and helpfulness. You gain understanding from teachers, scientists, philosophers, preachers, friends and family. Sometimes the guidance others give does not fit. However, there is one way that does work.
FIND GOODNESS IN THE BIBLE AND IN CHRISTIANITY
In the Ten Commandments are given the laws of how to act towards God and others.
Jesus embodies how to live that truth.
In Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan [Luke 10:29-37] he tells the story of how one person went out of his way to rescue a man who had been beaten, robbed and left to die – and in this way explains what we call the ‘Golden Rule’:
“So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12
When we look at our world, we see killing, murder, robbery, thieves, violence, arsonists, lying, unkindness, husbands killing wife and children – all examples of a lack of goodness.
“Now the works of the flesh are plain: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like.” ~Ephesians 5:20
The opposite of goodness was also shown on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, when a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic Al Qaeda killed 2,996; injured 6,000 and inflicted $10 billion in property damage including the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Surely, we all want something better for our world. Encouragement and appreciation bring greater good than insulting and hurting others ever could. The evidence of goodness was demonstrated in the reactions of the police, firefighters and the self-sacrifice of the airline passengers who made the decision to crash their plane before it could cause further damage.
JESUS SHOWS BY EXAMPLE
The goodness of our Savior was manifested in the willingness of Jesus Christ to bear malicious treatments by the Roman Guards, and to endure the cross, because he knew under the will of the Father that this would pay the penalty for our sins.
“And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, ‘I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, ‘take this, and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes’ And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body…” Luke 22:14-20
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” ~Psalm 23:6
“Be exalted, O Lord in thy strength! We will sing and praise thy power.” ~Psalm 21:13
God is good. He brings us to life. He gives us mothers and fathers who are to be good examples and children who are to follow them. He calls upon us to follow his teachings and his examples.
HIS GOODNESS IS OUR SALVATION
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18
We should not despair, for we have a God who loves us. We have a Bible that encourages us. We have fellow Christians who strengthen us. Let us pray to God to heal those who are harmed by those who do not follow His example.
If we are bewildered or discouraged, we should refresh ourselves in the teachings of scripture. If we do not know what to do, we should seek out something worthwhile that fits with God’s purposes in our lives.
“I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the Lord!” ~Psalm 27:13,14;
“O Lord, my God, I cried to thee for help, and thou hast healed me.” ~Psalm 30:2
“And we desire teaching one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” ~Hebrews 6:11,12
“I love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, My rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” ~Psalm 18:1-3
Pray to God for mercy and wisdom.
From ‘The Great Ideas’, Spinosa defines ‘good’ as that which we certainly know is useful to us:“Anything which is useful or exchangeable has the character of an economic good.”
Therefore – for your wife: Give flowers, a good book for your husband, and some coins to your children.
For YOURSELF, give a copy of my book, Answering Questions People Ask About Christianity.
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