so then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. [galatians 6:10]
what does it mean to do good? what is good?
Jesus said to the rich young ruler, “why do you call me good? no one is good but God alone.” [mark 10:18] and while Jesus had the absolute right to be called good because he is the exact imprint of God’s nature, he was pointing out to the young man that what he should be seeking is the goodness of God, not eternal life, because the goodness of God IS eternal life.
but the rich young ruler could not see the goodness of God. in fact, he thought he himself was good, claiming to have followed the commandments of God from birth, thinking he deserved eternal life because of his own goodness.
but Jesus’ response to this revealed what the man truly thought was good. and Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “you lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. [mark 10:21-22] Jesus was inviting him to lay down what he thought was good, to taste and see the real goodness of God.
so when we do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith, it means we are to offer this same goodness of God that Jesus offered to this rich young ruler. God is the standard of goodness, so to do good is to give God, and this can only flow from God’s own goodness toward us. offering anything else will only disappoint.
this goodness comes to us through the blood of Jesus, and flows out from us through the work of the Holy Spirit, his fruit overflowing from our lives and onto the lives of others. through the Spirit we see God’s mercy, grace, forgiveness, hatred toward sin, but steadfast love for the sinner. we see his patience, kindness, his faithfulness to his children. we know his healing, his provision, his help, and his strength, all to the praise of his goodness. and these things we are to pour out to those around us. resting in the goodness of God, we forgive. we hate sin, and in gentle patience, we love the sinner. when others are faithless, we build up their faith. we heal, we provide, we help, and we hold others up, all to the praise of God’s glory.
today, in the presence of our God, let’s thank him for his goodness. let’s ask him who needs to see his goodness. who needs to know his forgiveness and compassion? who needs provision and care, comfort and help? who needs direction or correction, encouragement or strength? who needs the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Father, give us joy inexpressible in the goodness of your glory, and let it flow from our lives to the world around us, that they might also taste and see that the Lord is good! amen!
~ arwen eastman