Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Good Life

"Of all virtues and dignities of the mind, goodness is the greatest, being the character of the deity; and, without it, man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing." ~ Sir Francis Bacon

"He has shown you, o man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness...and goodness. Galatians 5:22

What does it mean to be good? For some it is the culmination of life. To live the good life, so-to-speak. A hot tub, back rub, and a drink at the pub? The Money, Mansion, and Mercedes in the garage mentality? For some it is a virtue. How well did they treat other people? Did they kick dogs or push down old ladies?

Some say goodness is a matter of the head. If we will only educate our citizenry, teach them ethics and morals and values, they will be good. My question is, whose values and ethics. If it is based on majority rules, then abortion is an ethical (i.e. a good) thing. No, goodness is not about education. If you educate a thief, you’ll only get a smart thief.

Some say goodness is a matter of the hands. The fact is, doing good does not make you good. Goodness is not something that man manufacturers. It is something that God gives. The Bible makes that abundantly clear. “There is none who does good, no, not one.” Romans 3:12. People are not basically good. People are basically bad.

So the biblical conclusion must be that, “Good ain’t good enough.” We consistently fall short of meeting God’s standards of piety and goodness. This means that goodness is not a matter of the hands or a matter of the head. Goodness is a matter of the heart. Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” Goodness is not a matter of what you know, nor what you do. It is a matter of what you are. Goodness is not a deed that you do; it is fruit that you bear. It is not about what you know, but about Whom you know.

See, if you have love in your heart, joy in your soul and peace in your life; then you will be patient and enduring, you will be kind and ...yes...even good. Nevertheless, it all goes back to love in your heart, doesn’t it. And how do you get that? Micah 6:8, the last part says that you must walk humbly with your God.

How do we live the good life? By having a relationship with God’s Son, Jesus Christ.


girlintheroom said...

I thought I had all this good fruit growing... I thought that things were well... so I looked away for a few moments and then, now I have spewed evil in every direction. I feel like a temptress, I feel wicked. How can it spoil so fast? I am just so confused by that.

Steve said...

Hello Girlintheroom,

Sorry it’s taken so long to get back with you, but Sunday’s are a busy day for me.

I read through some of your posts, not all, just some.

I thinking that your battle with depression is in question. One of the saddest things about depression is that those
depressed tend to think they are the only ones suffering from this inward enemy. Trust me, that is not the case. I’ve suffered from deep depression myself. It is also easy for the church world to condemn, because we have a view that leans toward thinking that only “non-spiritual” people suffer from depression. Not true.

Consider reading 1 Kings 18 and 19. In chapter 18 Elisha has the greatest victory of his life, the battle of Mt Carmel. In 19, he runs from Jezebel and enters into a depression so great that he asks God to kill him (vs 4) He hides under a juniper tree, a very low shrub. Fitting, considering his state of mind. He was tired, overworked, and not eating properly. All of this effects our emotions. What was needed was some R&R. He sleeps and when he wakes up there is an angel there who gives him some cake. (What I want to know is what kind of cake? Angel’s food cake of course. Duh!?)

You are not alone. Depression is real. It really hurts. You can really overcome.



girlintheroom said...

It's ok Steve, I know Sundays are sure busy. I have battled depression for over 10 years. I have ups, I have downs... the recent events of my life, due to my own bad decision making, have left me in a severe down position and no matter what I try I just can't seem to recover. I will read in Kings tonight. Perhaps it will help. Thank you so much.

Steve said...

You are welcome.

I will pray for your struggles.

In Him,


girlintheroom said...

i set you an email last night i hope that i ok