How true. Have you ever thought about the fruit of the Spirit of GOODNESS? Think about it for a minute. What does it mean to be "good"? How is that different from being "kind"?
When you consider it, you might find that being kind is "other-directed"...your focus is not on yourself, but on others. What a wonderful quality to have! The focus of "goodness" however, is more self-centered, but in a good way. Our focus is on striving to be good in the face of all kinds of circumstances.
A recent example of this for me has come online. I have a friend who others are questioning, even going as far as to email her with hateful messages about what a liar she must be, etc. I can understand questioning someone, especially someone online who you don't "know" fully, but I cannot understand being hateful toward them or wasting so much time and energy on trying to prove that she is lying. What is the point?
God spoke to me very clearly through this morning's Bible study on GOODNESS. Being good has to do with a conviction of your heart. It has to do with believing that God will one day make everything right. It is trusting God and allowing yourself to stand up in the face of accusations and hate and say what's RIGHT, even what it's not popular. It's allowing yourself to be misunderstood, to have your motives questioned....because you know that one day, God will make it all right. In doing so, you point others toward God so that He can be worshipped for the true goodness that He is!
God is refining this in me. I have made mistakes along the way, but my ultimate motivation is to be good...not for myself, but because I know that's what God wants from me. I tend to stick up for the underdog, sometimes to my own detriment (or so it seems), but in doing so I am learning about the goodness of Christ. He doesn't care what's popular, He cares what's good and what's right. Ultimately, no matter what kind of flack we might have to endure on earth, our prize remains sure in Heaven!