I am not a big fan of sugar-free food. I cannot stomach diet soda (as much as my love-handles would love for me to make the switch.) And fat free dairy? Blech.
Give me the real thing.
Even if you do “like” diet soda or non-fat milk, you can taste a difference. Advertising companies would love us to believe otherwise, but the bottom line is: diet soda, skim milk, and fat-free snacks just do not taste like the real thing.
The fruit of the Spirit is…goodness. Galatians 5:22
We looked at another portrait of the fruit-bearing life this week, through Proverbs 31:10-31. I love the picture painted in verse 12, “She does him good and not harm, all the days of her life.”
Whether married or not, I think all of us desire to be one who does good to those around us.
The greek word used in Galatians 5:22, from which goodness is translated from, is agathosyne, which means: uprightness of heart and life; goodness; kindness
There are only three other places this particular Greek word is used in the New Testament.
One is in Romans 15:14. Paul talks of the Roman believers as being “full of goodness.” Then, in Ephesians 5:9, Paul teaches that the “fruit of life” is found in all that is good, right and true.
Good. Right. True.
The fruit of the Spirit filling our hearts will result in that which is good, right and true to His character. So, as we keep in step with the Spirit, we will become just like Spirit; we will become just like the real thing.
The Taste Test
When my husband Chris and I were engaged we were invited to have dinner with Dan and Sue. Dan would be performing our wedding ceremony, and they wanted to have us over to talk through the big day. We enjoyed a yummy meal and great conversation.
Being good coffee-lovers, they brewed a pot of dark brew, to go with our dessert. I watched as Dan pulled out the cold, white cream from the fridge and a sugar bowl from the cabinet. I put some sugar in my and Chris’ coffee, added some half-in-half, and just as the warm goodness was reaching my lips, I look up to see Chris’s puzzled expression.
“It’s not sugar.” he ekes out, trying to catch me before I take by own swig of caffeinated sea water…
It looked like sugar, but it most certainly was NOT. Dan had grabbed a bowl of SALT, and offered it to us as sweetener for our coffee!
By His Power, By His Grace
I don’t think any of us want to be like that hot, salty nastiness to those around us—repulsive. We want to bring good to those around us, so how do we obtain goodness? How can we taste like the real thing?
Psalm 34:8 declares, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” He is the only one who is good, right and true. He is the good shepherd (John 10:11). His goodness is declared all throughout the Old Testament.
So, if God is the only source of all that is good, how do we access that?
Enter 2 Thessalonians 1:11, the forth time agathosyne is used, where Paul offers a prayer for the people of God:
To this end we always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of his calling
and may fulfill every resolve for good
and every work of faith
by his power,
so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in him,
according to the grace of our God
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I love this! God is the one who makes us worthy. He gives us the resolve for good, by His power, according to His grace! His desire is for us to be the real thing; for people to encounter us, His children, and taste a bit of Him—the all-good God. And this is all for His glory.
People can tell the difference. They can see right through our games of trying to be a good person. They know when we are faking it. But a child of God, who is walking in the power of the Holy Spirit? Fruit is dripping off of that dependent one. Good fruit—the real stuff.
What did you learn from your study this week?
(As we consider the goodness of God…I am having a giveaway over at Living Devotionally. Just hop over and declare God’s goodness in the comments, for a chance to win! Giveaway ends on Tuesday!)