Galatians 5:23-23 says, “But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things.” During the weeks before Christmas and as we get ready to celebrate Christ’s birth, we are talking about these gifts. Last week, if you remember, we talked about patience and kindness. This week we want to discuss faithfulness and goodness.
Faithfulness means being true to one’s promises, being reliable, and trusted. We want our friends to be faithful to us, so we can rely on them for what they say they will do. We want to be able to trust them to always do what is right for us. God is our “bestest” friend, and God was and is forever faithful to His people – that means us – you and me. What He promised to the people in the Bible and us now, He has done. We can always depend on His faithfulness to His Word. When He promised the people in the Bible a Savior, He sent His Son to be born in Bethlehem. He promised them and us a way to be saved from all the sins that commit everyday – even when we try to do what’s right. And that Son (Jesus) grew up and sacrificed Himself on the cross, so we could be forgiven our mistakes if we just ask. Because of Jesus, we are able to live eternally with Him in heaven; we can depend on that because God says it.
Since God is faithful to His word and promises, we should also be faithful to Him and others. We should try to faithfully serve Him in all that we say, do, and think. We can do this by reading His Word, worshipping Him, keeping our own promises, and telling others about His faithfulness to us. We should do what we say and never tell lies or not be trustworthy in how we act or what we tell others. God will help us be faithful to them if we ask.
Then we hear a lot about being “good” right now before Christmas, but God’s goodness is a little different that just behaving well in order to get Christmas presents we want. God’s goodness is given to all of us as He fulfilled His promises (faithfulness) throughout Bible history. If He wasn’t good to us, we would not be able to be forgiven and redeemed through His own Son, Jesus. God has been and continues to be very patient, kind (from last week’s article), and now good to us even though many times we don’t really deserve those things. God knows we aren’t going to be perfect, but He’s good and forgiving to us anyway as we try to be good for Him.
God’s goodness to us should make us want to be good to other people like our families and friends too. Even when we think they don’t deserve our goodness, we must remember how God was good to us by sending Jesus, so we have a way out of our sinfulness. We should then remember how God is still good to us now with having our homes, family, and friends. We can be good to God by reminding ourselves of His many kind acts to us and thanking Him for doing those by the way we treat others.
This week, think about God’s faithfulness and goodness to you. Try to be the same to those you meet and know, so God is proud of you. He will honor you as you try to show others His faithfulness and goodness, and your friends and family will thank you for it also.
Let’s say our prayer. Father God, You are so faithful and good to us, so please help us to show those same things to our family and friends. We want to be more like You as we wait on Christmas. Please help all those affected by COVID now and those who take care of them. In Your Son’s name we pray, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.