Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the spirit is…goodness
The Christian faith is one that is plagued with a sometimes unflattering past. The view that nonbelievers take of the religion to which we belong is not always a positive one. Despite our best efforts to put forth a good face to Christianity, some will focus on the negative events that have taken place in history.
This is all the more reason why we, as Christ followers, should put forth the very best example at all times. In all that we do, we need to show goodness. When we are wronged, we need to react, not with more wrong, but with good.
We need to be using our time to help the poor, the widows, and the orphans. Wherever there is need, it is those who follow Christ and do His will that should be at the forefront of the effort to bring good to the situation.
And in all these things, it is not our effort that brings about good. It is the Holy Spirit in us that bears this fruit for all to see.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
No matter where you find yourself, you’re not too far away for God to find you. No matter what your circumstances, He can walk you through. He is good, and you can trust Him in good times and bad times.
As followers of Christ, we would benefit from following the example of Paul, learning how to be content in all situations. A heart that’s truly fixed on God will not let events determine faith. Focus on the nature of God and know that no matter what, no matter how good or how bad, you can trust Him.
You can do all things through Him who strengthens you. Pray in all things and rely on Him to provide. He is more than able to be your everything.
———- Where are you trying to find your strength? Is it in God or in the things of this world that don’t live up to their promises?
Romans 12:9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
What are the marks of a true Christian? We may sometimes wonder how to answer that question, but fortunately for us, the Apostle Paul already did in his letter to the Romans. Paul lays out a criteria for the true Christian. It’s not another set of rules to follow, and it’s not all-inclusive, but it’s worth taking a look at.
It’s no surprise that this outline of a true Christian starts with love. A Christian without love is ineffective and doesn’t present a very good witness. Paul commends his friends in Rome to be genuine in their love, to hate what is evil, and to hold on to what is good. This is good advice, but sadly not what many of us think of when we define the Christian life.
Let love be genuine. In the American church especially there is a tendency to put on a show that isn’t genuine when it comes to love and acceptance. We want people to believe that we care about them even when we don’t. But that’s not Christian love. That’s hypocrisy. Let your love be genuine. Work at it. If you’re struggling with showing someone love, focus on their good points and act out of that.
Hate what is evil. Again, to pick on the American church, we have become very much a part of the culture around us, even in our churches. We embrace the world’s things, even when they contradict the way of God. The only think we’re told to hate as a command is evil and sin. Instead we often love what is evil and hate what is good. That has to change.
Hold on to what is good. Keep focused on the things of God. Love the things that fit His character, follow after the things that please Him. This is the beginning of effective Christian living that presents a witness for Christ that others will want to know more about.