In The Message, Eugene Peterson gives us a fresh translation of what is often called the ‘fruit of the spirit.’
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard – things like affection for others (love) exuberance about life (joy) serenity (peace). We develop a willingness to stick with things (patience) a sense of compassion in the heart (kindness) and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people (goodness) We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments (faith) not needing to force our way in life (gentleness) able to marshal and direct our energies wisely (self-control). Gal 5:22-23
The description for goodness surprised me. I thought it would focus on me being good (and Lord knows, what’s good can be confusing because we all define good differently.)
But it says goodness is a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people – hmm, interesting. Goodness isn’t about me, its about how I view others – imagine that!
And it says there’s a holiness in people and things – too many times in the Christian world we hear how sinful/wicked everyone and everything is. Maybe we should we balance our viewpoint by looking at the other side.
We were created in the image of our creator and we were called good! And that description didn’t come from any run-of-the-mill reviewer or pundit – it came from the best! Also, everything that was created was called good.
So if I live God’s way, he will give me this goodness – this conviction that will help me see holiness in things (whether nature, time or food) and people. I like that – my creator will help me see everyone (yes, even that person) as someone that has holiness in them and deserves to be treated with love.
How would my life look if I understood this? The author of Galatians gives me some more help …
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better or another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original! Gal 5:25-26
Each of us in an original – what a sweet idea! So I don’t have to compare or decide who’s this and who’s that, but instead I can look for holiness everywhere!
That is a goal that excites me … what about you?