River of Life: What it means to be good

River of Life: What it means to be good

We have been working our way through the Fruits of the Spirit list found in Galatians 5:22-23.

'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.'

I believe it would make an overwhelmingly positive impact on our society if we could live out these Christian virtues in our daily lives as we go about our day to day business.

To live lives where these virtues were practised and demonstrated would help relationships within society flourish and grow, because each of the virtues has an integrity that seeks to do good and not harm.

This brings us to our next fruit or virtue of 'goodness'. I was asked once what it meant to be good.

A 'good' question I thought when each person has a different idea or belief about what it means to be good. It would be logical to conclude that our own interpretation of good would come from our own personal experiences.

For example, we may believe that it is good to get revenge against an enemy, where another might say it is good to see an enemy face justice.

In our example which act would bring about a safe and secure society? People taking revenge OR people seeking justice?

Surely, we would have to choose the latter and say that seeking justice is better then to seek revenge. Yet despite this, in our hearts all of us have probably at some point desired or carried out revenge against another person or group.

Therefore, how can I know goodness? Is there a benchmark I can compare or measure my actions by to see if they are good or not?

In Romans 12:2 we read, 'Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is, his good pleasing and perfect will'.

According to the bible our minds are transformed and renewed when we receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour.

The Holy Spirit which enables a person to understand this truth, is the Christians counsellor, to guide and enable the Christian to test and approve what Gods will is.

It is here in this truth above that we can work out what is good and how we can live goodness out in our lives each day.

Be assured this goodness that comes through a relationship with Christ will bring both personal and community blessings.

Hughie McCowen

Anglican Church