Knowing the Source of Goodness
November 3, 2021
From Pastor Joe
There are two parts to a person-the inside and the outside-what they say and what they do. Many people can act one way but be thinking another. Or they varnish up the outside while the inside stays the same. Some are playing the role of “the great pretender-pretending that I’m doing well.”
Goodness is an “inside out” thing. Goodness comes from an internal, intrinsic motivation. Goodness happens from being changed from the inside by the grace of God. His light shines out through you and me and that light shines as “goodness”. Goodness and change are not just outward actions, but a change in inward motivation. In the Christian faith-you don't become a Christian by doing good works. You don't become a Christian by starting to reform your life. You start by connecting to God-on the inside first. Check out this story:
A man had gone hiking in the woods when he stumbled upon an angry bear. The bear stood up on its hind legs and growled ferociously, clearly preparing to charge at the man. In a panic, the man started to run, but the bear followed close behind, nipping at his heels. The man ran and ran and ran, the bear gaining on him every moment.
The man looked back to see how close the bear was, and as he did so he tripped on a tree root and fell. He looked up to see the terrible sight of this immense bear about to lunge on him.
So the man folded his hands together and prayed, "Dear Lord, please make this bear a Christian."
The bear began to lunge, but suddenly stopped growling, frozen in his tracks. The bear backed off, sat on his haunches, put his paws together and began to pray, "Dear Lord, I thank you for this meal I am about to receive."
The bear was acting “good”-praying-on the outside, but obviously the bear's nature was not changed. Just a few superficial things were changed-on the outside. Anyone (or any bear) can say words and create the appearance of goodness. I am not talking about an outer-being good or doing good things. I am talking about a 'goodness'-that comes from knowing the Source of Goodness and letting Him live His life in you.
I want my actions to spring forth from my thoughts, feelings, passions and values. I want those values to be instilled in me by the Great God who I know loves not only me, but each of us. I want to live His life through mine. I hope you feel the same.