(A series about the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5)
Of the nine fruits of the Spirit, I’d guess this one to be the one most wrestled.
Doing good is different from being good. You can be good on the inside. But to show the fruit of goodness it has to be seen, you have to do. That isn’t always easy. It’s downright challenging in many cases, on a regular basis.
- It’s hard to do good to someone who views your decision as wrong.
- It’s mind bending to do good to someone who intentionally undermines you.
- It’s gut wrenching to do good for someone who knowingly lies about you.
These are examples that are difficult because they reveal where your power originates. If your power to handle wrong, undermining, and lying lies only in you, you will be less likely to do good.
No, we have to rely on a better source of power than ourselves. That power comes from the model of goodness. That model and power is described in Acts 10:38.
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Instead of looking at yourself to muster the power of goodness, we must look to the Holy Spirit. No matter how hard the situation, he has the power to do good through you. So how do we look to the Holy Spirit?
- Work through your anger, jealousy, selfishness, etc., before responding. (HINT: This may take more than five minutes.) Start doing good by not doing wrong by allowing destructive emotions to control you.
- Pray to the Holy Spirit. Ask Him what goodness will look like in your situation, for that person. Only move when you have peace and commitment to the action.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. You only get better at something by doing it. Start with a simple good thing that you know the Holy Spirit wants you to do. Example: Pray that God would bless your offender rather than praying God would convict them. (HINT: Conviction isn’t our job.) A staggering baby step like this will lead to steady walking which will lead to strong running.
Running isn’t easy. Certainly not to do goodness. Surrender to the Holy Spirit to help you run to do good.