Tuesday, March 8

fruits: goodness


"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22

A little bit more stitchin... en Flickr: ¡Intercambio de fotos!

This post has been a little delayed {my apologies} because it took me a while to really grasp what goodness truly means. I think this says it best, if we can see it in the right context. 

"So let us not get tired of doing what is good. At the right time, we will reap a harvest of benefit if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

I know that my problem is: I focus on the second half of that verse. "We will reap a harvest of benefit if we do not give up." Why is that the important part to me though, why can't the first part stand out to me more? Why I am attracted to receiving the benefits? I guess that's just because we are human, but that should not be our driving force behind doing good. That's just a promise of things to come, and shouldn't serve as a bribe. 

Now back to doing good: I really don't believe that doing good is an action. Yes, you have to do to be doing good for God's kingdom. But, I think it's more of what's in your heart that demonstrates goodness. Someone who is constantly doing and giving and and serving, but is doing so only for worldly attention and benefits doesn't necessarily have a heart of goodness do they? Those things are all fantastic and they are definitely serving a good purpose and helping others, but is that the goodness that the Lord is talking about? 

One of my twin sisters is an animal lover {to put it mildly.} About 5-6 years ago, she got two rabbits that lived together in our backyard for a long long time. Skittles was grey and white, huge, and was treated like a queen. Maegan took care of that rabbit like she was human. Skittles had several litters of babies before her husband, Thumper, passed away. You wanna talk about the cutest dang thing you've ever seen... just wait until you see 10 little white bunnies smaller than the palm of your hand bouncing around in the grass. It was precious. So needless to say, Skittles has been part of the family for a while. And we all loved her. 

But back to Maegan, she went out to that rabbit pen at least twice a day to check on those rabbits. Whether it was raining, snowing, dark, whatever. She was going to be sure they had food and water and that everything was okay. If she went to the grocery store with Mom, she was going to pick up a bag of carrots or lettuce so they would have a treat. What was she ever going to get in return from those rabbits? They aren't like a dog or cat, and don't really show much affection. {They are actually kind of mean. Skittles bit me more than I ever care to be bitten by a rabbit.}  But from the goodness in her heart, she took care of those rabbits for 5 plus years. Diligently and knowing she wasn't going to get anything in return except for the satisfaction of knowing they were taken care of. True goodness. 

Well Mom called me earlier and Skittles had died. And it broke my heart. Yea, it was rabbit. We've lost a lot of pets. Us country folk have a pretty hard time with dogs and cats, so I've gotten this phone call several times. But it was Maegan's rabbit, and knowing how much she genuinely cared for them made all of us hurt for her. The Lord knew what he was doing in allowing that rabbit to have a 6 year life. How many pet rabbits actually live that long? Not many. And He took her while Maegan was gone, because she would have found her on any other day. 

I don't know if the goodness part of the story comes through as clearly as it would if you knew Maegan. But I hope it does. She has a heart for doing good, just because. Which is how it should be. 

Just because. 

love always, 

1 comment:

CALLIE said...

I just love all of your posts on the fruits of the spirit!! They make my day everytime.