The next fruit is Goodness. This isn’t feeling good, looking good or having goods!
It’s being good and doing good!
In Genesis 1 every time God created something He said it was good. Why? Because it fulfilled the purpose for which it was created. Goodness for us is being what God meant for us to be. When we live the way God intends us to live we feel good and our life is meaningful. What does He mean for us to do? Ephesians 2:10 says we are created to do good works. And Titus 3:14 says we must learn to do good. Warren gives us 5 simple suggestions.
1.Become a student of the Bible. Fill your mind and your life with it. (All of his suggestions start with God’s word – have you noticed?)
2.Guard your mind. Control your thought life. If you want to do good, think about good, positive and uplifting things. Things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report.
3.Develop deep convictions. What do you stand for? America is a very open minded country. Everyone has an opinion about everything. But, Warren says there’s a big difference between opinions and convictions. An opinion is something you hold and a conviction is something that holds you. An opinion is something you’ll argue about. A conviction is something you would suffer for and if necessary, die for.
As Christians we should stand up against sin. Jesus loves sinners and hated the sin. Today’s society is the opposite. We hate sinners and love the sin! Philosopher Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” We need to stand up for what is right. It won’t make us popular, infact Jesus warned us that the more we identify with Him, the more the world around us will respond with hostility. But, Peter says in 1 Peter 2:19 – 20 it is better to suffer for doing good then for doing evil. Which leads to-
4.Have the courage to be different from your culture. This is hard. Everyone wants to fit in. But 3 John 11 says, “Do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.” You’ve heard the phrase “When in Rome”? Well Rome back in the 1st century would have made Las Vegas look like a Sunday School picnic. Every kind of debauchery and immorality you could think of was going on there. In Romans 15 Paul complimented the Christians in Rome. Romans 15:14 tells them they are filled with goodness. They weren’t going with the flow. They weren’t conforming – they stood out – and it got them mentioned in the Bible!
5.Develop the habit of meeting with other believers. We need to regularly challenge, encourage and support one another in our Christian walk and life style. Christians aren’t meant to go it alone. We face a lot of opposition, but God will protect us from evil and one of the most powerful means He uses to do that is the church.
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