The View From Here

The Fruit of the Spirit (Pt. 7): Goodness

main image

A misunderstood title in Christianity is the word “saint.” It means “holy one” and applies to all in Jesus, not just those distinguished by their works. We are holy in Christ, but we are still called to be good.

Goodness is part of the fruit of the Spirit. The word means uprightness of heart and the stress is on how we treat others rather than our position in Christ. In other words, the emphasis is not on who we are in Christ but our response to who we are in Christ. We are to be characterized by goodness towards others.

Ben Franklin said, “Well done is better than well said.” So does this word.

The motivation for our goodness is the goodness of Christ shown to us. We, the ones who have benefitted from the overwhelming grace of God, now show grace to others. And one of the ways we show grace is by our goodness to them.

An accountant decided to apply his bookkeeping skills to the balance between God’s goodness to us and ours to others. He started writing down all the ways God favored him including the basics like food, air and sunshine to the special things like answered prayer, unique blessings and more. On the other side of his ledger he wrote down the things he did for God, being kind and good, giving, and serving. Finally, he gave up and closed the book. He said, “It is impossible for me to balance the books. I find that God is indeed my creditor and what I have done for Him is next to nothing.”

Being good to others can sometimes require a tough choice from the heart, but remember the One who calls you be good has been very, very good to you.

Posted by Bill Knepper with

The Greatest Gift

What is the greatest thing you have ever given?  Some give money, others give their time and you find the generous soul who is quick to volunteer their spouse.  But there have been a few who, with one act, give everything. Memorial Day is a day when we remember those who gave a greater gift than most, and yet it still pales in comparison with the greatest gift that could be given.  Read on to learn more about that gift.

Memorial Day in the U.S. began as "Decoration Day."  It was celebrated after the Civil War with veterans of the Union Army decorating graves of their comrades who had fallen in battle.  It spread through the North and the South, and eventually, it morphed into what it is today.  It is different than Veteran's day, which is for recognizing all who have served in the military.  Memorial day is for remembering those who gave the one thing that could not be replaced: one's life. 

Today, we thank God for those who were willing to sacrifice their lives so the rest of us can live in freedom and peace.  Freedom and peace do not happen on their own--they must be fought for and protected.  There is a tremendous price to be paid.

Every life laid down in service of our country points to the greatest gift ever given.  Jesus Christ set his freedom aside and his the peace that existed between Him and God, the Father.  He was bound, beaten and butchered on a cross, that cruel instrument of crucifixion.  He became your substitute.  He had no sin, but God took your sin and laid in on Jesus.  When this happened, that perfect Father-Son relationship was broken for the first time, and Jesus cried out to his Father, "Why have you forsaken me?" 

Reflect on this, the greatest gift, today, as you remember the lives laid low for your freedom.  Jesus died to set sinners free.  He rose again, conquered death, and if you believe in Him, you will have forgiveness--freedom from sin--and peace with God.

Posted by Joshua Holland with

12345678910 ... 2627