I Was Thinking…
A gracious soul sent me a note of encouragement last week. It lifted my spirit. On the front of the card was the famous quote by John Wesley, our Methodist fore father. It read… “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. At all times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”
It was an inspiring reminder of what was at the spirit-root
of what it means to be a Methodist. “Doing Good”
sounds so simple and yet like ‘kindness’
it is listed in Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia as a fruit of the spirit “goodness”
(Galatians 5:22, KJV). True ‘goodness’
, therefore, must need some boost from the Holy Spirit to really do what ‘goodness’
is intended to do.
What I often notice is that it is easy to make the Godly daily walk seem difficult. We wrap our discussions about faith in large words with dictionary impressive meanings. While deep thought and spiritual sweat is important, let’s not confuse that with some of the simple fruit you and I are called to allow the spirit to birth in us and through us.
What if each day we took John Wesley’s words to heart… “Do all the good you can…in traffic…in Publix…at home…at church…with extended family…in friendships…with money…with our voice…in all conversations…with a table server at Outback…in the drive-thru at McDonald’s…with our neighbor…with those who have a different worldview than us…with people of color…with people of different sexual orientation…with those who vote differently than us.”
AND the list goes on.
We southerners have an expression that is often used; “My goodness!”
It is often used to express surprise as in “My goodness, you’ve grown!”
I find that interjection phrase very intriguing. “My goodness…”
it is as if we have goodness to give. “My goodness…”
it is as if it is a gift to offered. Whether that is the original intent of the phrase or not…I like the idea.
This world needs some ‘goodness’
. This world that so easily demonizes those who disagree needs ‘goodness’
. This world that so naturally looks for the bad and glorifies it as newsworthy and Hollywood bound needs some ‘goodness’
. This world that is ‘bent toward sinning’
needs some goodness.
Where will such ‘goodness’ come from but from those who serve a good, good God.
If you and I, who profess to have lives that have been changed by the Holy Spirit of ‘goodness’ don’t share it as much as we possibly can, then from whom will the world receive such a gift.
“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. At all times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”
‘My goodness’…what a difference we can make.