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Goodness (4) Goodness of Jonathan
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쒋쪫o not let the king sin against his servant David, since he has not sinned against you, and since his deeds have been very beneficial to you. For he took his life in his hand and struck the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great deliverance for all Israel; you saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by putting David to death without a cause? (1 Samuel 19:4-5) ...
       
 
  
 

Goodness (1) The Level of Goodness (1)

Manmin News   No. 724
201
August 14, 2022


쏛nd do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.(Romans 12:2)


When someone troubles a person or causes them some kind of damage, for most people it is natural to retaliate in return. But God said that revenge belongs to evilness while forgiveness and love belong to goodness.
In the same manner, among things the worldly people consider good, many of them are actually of evilness in light of the Word of God that commands us to love even our enemies. But if we attain the level of goodness in which God delights, we will receive amazing love and blessings from God. All trials and persecutions will depart from us and answers will come whatever we ask.
What, then, is 쁤oodness? What should we do to reach the level of goodness that God wants?


1. The Word of God, the perfect standard of goodness

Just by watching news programs on TV, we are able to figure out how evil the world has become. That셲 why God said in Romans 12:2, 쏛nd do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Without knowledge on the law, we can셳 abide by it. Thus, we must know what goodness is to practice goodness. In Luke 18:18, a man called Jesus, 쏥ood Teacher! Then, Jesus answered in verse 19, 쏻hy do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.
He said so in order that people realize that only God is truly good, and His Word alone, that is the Word of God, can be the standard of goodness. Therefore, goodness itself is God셲 thoughts and will. Most people just think goodness is either 쁳he quality or state of being good, or 쁮f a favorable character or tendency. They discern between good and evil in accordance with their conscience that has been formed during growth and maturation. But the conscience is a mixture of truth and untruth. The conscience of each individual is formed in different ways according to personal levels of knowledge, family background, parents, and teachers. That is, conscience is one셲 own standard of value to say that 쁲omething is truth although their value is a compound of truth and untruth. So, the conscience of men can셳 be the absolute standard of goodness.
Let us suppose somebody is cursing at you and beating on you, but you are not cursing back at him, but instead you are bearing with it. People around you might think you are a man of goodness, but the goodness acknowledged by God is not to react in evil and not to have any ill-feelings at all. Furthermore, He wants us to move the heart of the person who does evil to us. He takes delights when we even give our lives for them, that is, the utmost degree of goodness.


2. The 1st level of goodness: not reacting in evil, but suppressing hard-feeling

The first level of goodness is when somebody acts with evil towards you but you do not react in evil even though you have some ill-feelings in you.
Say, somebody is cursing at you, but you didn셳 do anything wrong. Still, you don셳 curse back and just bear with it. Because you know the Word of God or because you want to show your social decorum, you don셳 fight back, but just suppress ill-feelings and discomfort. You might seem to be of goodness and mild on the outside. People may even say to you, 쏽ou could have lived without the law. But a person with this kind of behavior is not truly good in God셲 sight because they keep evil in their hearts though they don셳 pay back evil with evil outwardly. God does not look at the outer appearance but the inner heart. Of course, it is better than fighting back, but this level cannot even actually belong to a level of goodness recognized by God as goodness. Today there are believers who act with evil because they don셳 know the goodness of God. If they want to be men of goodness they have to try to practice the Word of God. Proverbs 8:13 says, 쏷he fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate. As said, if we truly believe in God, we will fear God, hate evil, and follow goodness.


3. The 2nd level of goodness: not having discomfort in the heart

In the second level of goodness you will not have any kind of discomfort or ill-feelings much less pay back evil with evil. You will not have any kind of hatred or discomfort whatsoever against the other person. This is to have no evil at all in your heart. It can be deemed a heart of spirit. This is the minimum level of goodness that God recognizes. When we suffer something evil, we might have momentary ill-feeling or agitation of our heart, even though we do not pay it back with evil. But even at those times, if we control our mind and try to understand with goodness, we can accomplish goodness where we do not even have any kind of ill-feeling. We can see this in the case of Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary. If he had been an ordinary man, he would most likely have assumed she had committed adultery and tried to have her be stoned to death by the Law when he found out that his fiancee was pregnant without him having lain with her. But Joseph was a righteous man, and he did not want to make a public example of her, so he was going to put her away secretively. That is why God could tell Joseph, who was this good, that the Baby would become the Savior. 1 John 5:18 says, 쏻e know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. If you accomplish at least the minimum level of goodness, the second level of goodness that God acknowledges, the enemy devil and Satan can셳 bring accusation to you and you won셳 be put under trials and afflictions If we obey the enemy devil and Satan and think, say, and act in evil, we can셳 be protected or blessed no matter how long we have been a Christian. But if you just accomplish the minimum level of goodness that God acknowledges, the darkness will be driven away by the light surrounding you. Let셲 check how much goodness we have cultivated in us.
Suppose you are a director managing several workers, and a work went wrong due to the mistake of one of your workers. In this kind of case, many of you would repent before your boss saying, 쏧t is my fault. I did not take care of it properly. But, deep in a corner of your heart wouldn셳 you still want to blame that worker to some extent and want to rebuke him out of the bad feeling coming from the difficulties you face?
In such a case, a man of goodness takes responsibility from the bottom of his heart. He셝 let his workers become aware of what was wrong, but he would encourage them and try to settle the problem. Seeing his goodness, all the workers would be moved and become united as one. Let me give you one more example so that you can check your goodness. It is when you see somebody else being reprimanded. Were you relieved because you were not involved? Or did you side with the person in giving the reprimand to the other person thinking he deserved it? A person of goodness would think, 쁈t would not have happened if I had helped him, and the person would look back upon himself with distress. Thus, if the work is directly related to him, he will naturally be honest in all things, and he will take the responsibility upon himself.
We might sometimes seem to face damage or difficulties when we tell the truth or act in goodness. But, since God is goodness itself and He controls life, death, curses and the blessings of mankind, goodness will surely lead to victory.
So, I pray in the name of the Lord that you put complete trust in God who is always on the side of people of goodness and receive the love and the abundant blessing of God.

(To be continued)


 

 

 
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