Show the goods

show em the goods shadowOne of the defining scriptures for me as we continue in our goal to shape the missional culture of our church has been Rom 2:4 ‘the goodness of God leads men to repentance.’

I believe it is crucially important for us to be an example of the ‘goodness’ of God rather than just a mouthpiece of it. This is particularly true in the context of our post-modern generation that is no longer impressed with proclamation, but instead is looking for an authentic demonstration of spirituality. Both of course are necessary, but as the age old saying goes ‘people don’t care what you know, till they know that you care’

One kind word or action can express the truth about God’s nature far more powerfully than a thousand doctrinally sound arguments could ever do. I passionately believe that when people encounter the genuine goodness of God expressed in the lives of his disciples its another step closer to them knowing God.

Paul says in Gal 6:9 ‘don’t grow weary in doing good for at a proper time you will reap a harvest’. In my words this is saying ‘don’t stop being good like God, because eventually people will respond to his goodness expressed through you’

Jesus said in Matt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. It’s the seeing of your good works (or better still the receiving of them) that will cause them to glorify God. God reveals his love and passion for the world through the goodness of his people.

The Psalmist says in Ps 34:8 ‘taste and see that the Lord is good.’ How will they do that? People taste God when they taste our lives! We are the tasters for God! The question is then, are we bitter or sweet?

Here’s the bottom line, you and I are the goodness of God to the people in our world and it’s that goodness flowing through us that will signpost people to Christ. A kind word, a good deed, a touch, a caring thought, a selfless act, a prayer, a promise, a generous gift, a genuine interest or concern for another; all given to the ‘whosoever’ in your lives will plant a seed that could grow into a personal encounter with God.

Most times it won’t even feel like a spiritual issue. You will not be aware of it as evangelism or witnessing. It will simply be the overflow of Gods goodness distributed through you to those around you. Many times people won’t know why you were motivated to do it, or even know that you are a Christian. Does that matter? I don’t think so. It may get you into a chat about your faith, which is great but it may not. Its Gods job to connect the dots. He can easily bring an awareness of his presence to a person through your ‘random’ kindness or generosity.

Our church, and everyone in it, is called to be a living, breathing manifestation of the goodness of God to the world. How will they know unless you show! Intentionality is the key. If we are only living for ourselves then none of this will be of any importance to us. However, if we know we are called to be the goodness of God to others, and if we are intentional about it, then there is no end to the possibilities that God can create. Large oaks grow from small acorns. No act of kindness, no good work is too small. Just one small taste of Gods goodness from your life may well produce an appetite for God in someone else that will lead them to his table!

To finish then; internet shopping is great, but you only get to see an image of what you are buying. It’s never quite as good as being able to taste, feel or hold the goods before you buy. Lets not just describe a picture of Gods goodness to people…lets show them the goods!

Be blessed