“The good man brings good things from the good stored up in his heart.” Luke 6:45 NIV
“Goodness is important, because goodness matters to God.”
My thoughts today are “for goodness sake.”
My Mom seemed to say that a lot when I was growing up. “Allen, for goodness sake don’t do that.” She was a good lady, caring, selfless and generous, and loved by all who knew her. It must have been her way to appeal to what was better in me, wanting me to learn to consider what would be for the best when making decisions or choosing a course of action. I couldn’t tell you whether that was very effective at the time, because teens aren’t always as concerned about the result of things, as they are of their desire at the moment. But at least she planted an idea inside my head, and maybe into my heart, by sincere repetition.
To many, goodness just doesn’t seem good enough. Goodness often sounds so mediocre – so plain vanilla – nothing particularly exceptional about it. Badness at least has some thrill to it; goodness sounds boring. Greatness, now that will get attention; goodness just doesn’t seem to rate much notice. But I suggest that goodness is important, in spite of a culture that evidences anything but that. Goodness matters to God, so that should matter to you, a lot!
Jesus said, “(Even) a tree is recognized by its fruit . . the good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:43-45 NIV. So, here’s the deal. If you want to live for goodness sake, it starts in the heart. Goodness is not some occasional, big important thing that you do; goodness is really about who you are, all the time, in things great and small.
Goodness begins with what is “stored up in the heart.” (See Proverbs 4:23 NKJV) It happens over a sustained period of time by living a life that is consistently obedient and pleasing to God. You don’t “get” goodness all of a sudden; you become good by living everyday “for goodness sake.” “That you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work . . growing . . strengthened . . joyfully giving thanks . .” Read Colossians 1:9-14 NIV.
Goodness is expressed by “good things.” You don’t try to do them; they just naturally happen because of what you have placed purposefully into your heart. Good people characteristically do good things. Bad people mostly do bad things. Both are capable of doing either sometimes.
Goodness is the new, redeemed nature of a “good man.” Goodness is a product of God at work in your life. See Galatians 5:22 NIV. “I am convinced that you are full of goodness, complete in knowledge, competent to instruct one another.” Romans 15:13-14 NIV. See Ephesians 5:8-10/Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV.
My prayer for you today is that your heart’s desire is to live to please God always.