Is doing good optional? In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul lists the “fruit of the spirit“. By “Fruit,” here, he meant “beneficial results,”of the good things that come from the Spirit’s indwelling. As the Holy Spirit works in our lives, our character changes gradually. Where we once harbored selfishness, cruelty, rebelliousness, and spite, we now possess love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The good traits listed here reflects the character of God, and goodness is one of them. It is the one that relates directly to morality. So when I hear people say “I can either choose to be good or not to be”. This statement often leaves me in thoughts as I begin to wonder if I can choose to be good or is my goodness influenced by the things around me? Can I be good without the help of the holy spirit? How do I be good to someone who constantly reprimands me?
I don’t believe goodness is a quality we can manufacture on our own. We are reminded in James 1:17 “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” For every time we surrender to the holy spirit, he takes over and controls everything that concerns us. He fills us with his presence and his spirit directs us to be good. We can not be good on our own, for every man has the potential to be evil, wicked, and cruel but the presence of the holy spirit in the life of any man turns every evil heart to a good one. By this, being good ceases to be a choice or optional. It becomes a necessity, a way of life for the individual.
Expressions of goodness varies because just as our God shows us goodness in different ways so also he expects us to show goodness differently but consistently. Often times we ask “How can a good God allow something bad to happen to his creation”? “How and why do bad things happen to good people”? The truth is goodness is much more than doing good deeds, it’s more about what is good inside that causes the deeds. Our God is a good God and because many of us have lost the essence of being good, falsified goodness, we easily blame God for any short comings.
There are lots of false goodness around the world today. People pretend to be good for selfish reasons, they show you goodness, and when you don’t reciprocate the way they want you to, you become their worst enemy. For every time we put up breathtaking performance of goodness falsely so the world can praise us, we loose our reward from God and of course he can never be impressed no matter how hard we try.
In as much as we want to try to be good, it’s not in our human nature to do so. So we must work hard and make con efforts to be good and rely on the wisdom and strength of the holy spirit. Remember, if good seeds planted will be harvested and every bad seed planted will also be harvested. Even when you don’t feel like it, do good. It may not speak today but it surely will tomorrow. We serve a God who never forgets any good deed. For everything we do the least of our brothers and sisters we not only do them unto God but unto ourselves and our generations yet unborn.
Don’t be loud about the good things you do for people. Don’t stand at the city gate and announce the names of the people you did something good for. The people you do good for must not necessarily be able to pay you back. It’s not how far or how much when it comes to goodness but rather how well. The scripture admonishes us in Matthew 6:3 to not allow our right hand to know what the left hand is giving to someone in need.
“Starting today! Make up your mind to do something good for goodness sakes!