God’s goodness: God’s glory
When Moses wanted to see God’s glory, God let all of His goodness pass before him. (Exodus 33:18-19.) If you see goodness as something weak and worthless you do not know the heart of God. God wants those who are together with us to taste something of God’s glory through us. People who are full of the Holy Spirit and faith have received some of God’s fullness in their spirit - they have some of God’s glory inside them. Such people are able to forgive others without setting any limits or feeling, “this is really enough now.”
Advice 1: Don’t let others affect your goodness
The circumstances we come into must not cause us to come out of goodness. We must never become evil or cold. Goodness is a spirit that flows out through our words, and the intention is that it goes into people’s hearts. Without goodness, our advice can often feel like judging and accusations. A person must receive mercy from God both to give and to receive advice, otherwise we can very easily become tired of one another.
Often the first thing we think of when we meet a situation, comes from our own, strong human ideas. But, if we choose to bless with Christ's gentleness and goodness, then we see that it will often have a much more powerful effect.
If we read Paul’s letters, we see that he was in a prophetic spirit when he worked with people, even those who were babies, spiritually speaking. He believed that just as God’s goodness had led him to repent, he should show the same goodness in his ministry and this would have the same effect on those he served. Goodness is filled with God’s wisdom.
Advice 2: Our own hardness must die
The only way we can get more care, love, goodness, and compassion for others is by dying to our own hardness, egoism etc. There is warmth and goodness needed for something to grow. Jesus showed how the Father was - by being full of grace and truth. The church of Christ is not built by a strong human will and personality. When we think of the others, it must be in thankfulness, goodness and joy, and we must pray for them. If we do this, we can believe that God will help and bless them. (Romans 4:17-21.)
May there be a godly sorrow in our hearts and a longing to get more of the fruits of the Spirit like kindness, goodness, love. People need to see God’s mercy and goodness in us. God is perfect in goodness, and His children must be like Him. The character of the Father must become more and more visible in His servants.
We are called to be the sweet smell of Christ to God. (2 Corinthians 2:15.) This should happen first in our own home and in our home church. A sweet smell of goodness should come from our lives. The effect of goodness is that others also get a desire to get more of the fruits of the Spirit. Just as Jesus said that “he who has seen Me has seen the Father”, people we meet must feel that they have met something of God. As long as we live in this world, the world should see hope. In us, people must meet God’s mercy and grace.
The gospel promises us that we can have life in the fullest possible way. (John 10:10.) We can live an overcoming life through Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17.) Therefore, let us get of His patience so that in the circumstances of life, we have power to bear all things.
We must get rid of all hardness that is in us. For many people, the desire to be rich is so strong that they see even their own children as a hindrance - their own children get in the way of their desire to live for themselves. They can become very hard in order to get what they want. These types of things like the love of money and the hardness in us must ”die” if people are going to see the goodness of Jesus in me.
Advice 3: Be thankful
A sign that we have a good relationship with one another is that our hearts are full of thankfulness. Without being thankful for one another, we can become a bit cold. Then it becomes clear that we aren’t so happy with our brother and sister. And then we cannot give advice or share words of encouragement to the person who is running next to us in the “race of life”.
We should have no expectations or demands on others, but should be able to draw people out of their sins. That is the power of a life where we are full of goodness, no matter how the others behave. The real comfort is that he who humbles himself will be lifted up. (James 4:10.)
Jesus was the first one to go this way, and He was happier than any other person. (Hebrews 1:9.) With our whole heart we must seek to become more like Him.
Advice 4: Be quick to hear, slow to speak
When we deal with others, we can meet people who are in deep despair over circumstances in their life. It is very important that they experience goodness from us and that we listen to them, take time with them, and be kind to them. Otherwise, we can easily react to their words, and not to what they really need.
“Are there those among you who are truly wise and understanding?” James asks. “Then they should show it by living right and doing good things with a gentleness that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13 (NCV).
To be gentle is an unexpected and surprising goodness from someone who has the power to act with authority. So, let us not be too quick to take action and to give our opinion. When we have a gentle spirit, we can come into a person’s heart in a good way and be of true help to him. The “sun” must never go down in our heart. I must be close to my fellow man if I want to be good and warm to him.
There is a great need for people to hear words that are full of faith. There is judgment, edification, encouragement, guidance and comfort in these words. God’s goodness has nothing to do with human, soulish, shallow care. God’s goodness makes us firm and unshakable. When we sincerely want to serve God and help people, we will see our foolishness, and a strong desire to get more of God’s goodness will be born within us.