HOW TO CULTIVATE GOODNESS?
Hey everyone. Welcome to today’s Lockdown Lookup.
What an incredible weekend we just had celebrating Easter. Even though we find ourselves in the middle of a crisis, we can rejoice because our Saviour is risen! He is risen indeed!
On Thursday morning Pastor Richard helped us understand what Goodness is. Today we’re going to focus on how to cultivate Goodness in our lives.
So to recap, last week we saw that Goodness is far more than just an adjective – you make good coffee or I feel good this morning. Goodness really means that something is functioning according to it’s purpose. And so a good person isn’t simply someone who isn’t doing bad things. A good person is someone who is living in line with their God-given purpose.
Now when we think of purpose we usually think of some kind of life or career path – I’m a teacher, dedicated to educating kids that will become good citizens– I’m fulfilling my purpose. I’m running an honest business that is creating job opportunities and adding value to society – I’m fulfilling my purpose. Yes. But our purpose is far greater than even that.
Have a look at 2 Peter 1:3 with me:
“ 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”2 PETER 1:3
From this verse we can see that God is by nature Good. He is glorious and good. He is the source of Goodness, Perfection, Beauty, Holiness!
This verse also gives us an indication as to what our purpose here on earth is – it is to reflect God in our life, to live a godly life. Our purpose here on earth is to be mirrors of God.
That means that if God is Good, we are to reflect His Goodness in the way we live.
Let’s keep reading:
“ 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”2 PETER 1:4
Last week Richard reminded us that God, in Christ Jesus, has given us a new status. That status is Righteous or Good. He has declared that we have the perfectly Good status of Jesus, who never sinned and was indeed Good. This is what this verse is saying. We are able to participate in Christ’s perfect nature.
But the problem is obviously that we all know that we don’t live good lives befitting of people who have been declared good. Richard explained how our lives have to catch up in one sense to the righteous or good status that we have received in Christ.
But how? Look at V5:
” 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness.”2 PETER 1:5
And Richard pointed out that it isn’t wrong to try and be good. There is effort involved in trying to live the good life that reflects the goodness of God. We are to do everything possible to live a godly life. A godly life is to display the fruit of the Spirit that we’ve been looking at. But do you know that we can strive all we like to be good and not get it right. What is the secret?
How do you become good, or rather, how do you grow in reflecting God’s goodness in your life?
We used to have a saying at Varsity. You’re a product of who you hang out with. And it was true. I had one particular friend that I spent a huge amount of time with. He was a bit older than me and I looked up to him. Soon I started to talk like him, dress like him and do the things he did.
The same applies in our relationship with God. The more we look at Him. The more we spend time with Him. The more we get to know Him, the more we begin to look like Him and do the things He does. We begin to reflect the Goodness of God in the way that we love Him and others. What we begin to find is that effort isn’t as much effort as it is us being transformed into His likeness.
So although I could encourage you to try and be better, to add to your faith goodness by striving to be good, I want to rather encourage you to become a product of the God you hang out with. With every fibre of your being, get to know Him. Spend time with Him, reading your Bible, praying to Him, looking at Jesus. And slowly but surely you will begin to reflect God and to live the godly life that Peter talks about – a life that reflects the goodness of God.