July 1: Fruit of the Spirit – Goodness

Read Matthew 5:13-16

GOODNESS – I am a person who makes things and people around me better.

You are…

  • The salt of the earth.
  • The light of the world.
  • A city on a hill.

Salt, light, and a city…Those three comprise an interesting and seemingly unrelated trio. And yet, Jesus used those three to make a single emphasis. What is it that they have in common? All three, when they are present, should be obvious. Salt without a salty taste is useless. Light under a bowl is senseless. A city on a hill can’t be hidden.

By design, we, as followers of Christ, are to stand out.

Not in the wrong way. Like the person who draws attention to his generosity by announcing it with trumpets (Matt. 6:2) or to his prayerfulness by praying on the street corners (Matt. 6:5) or to his fasting through his haggard appearance (Matt. 6:16). Not that way.

I suppose it could be said that we end up standing out…not because we intend to…but as a byproduct. We are obvious because of the good we do. Christians are marked by good works (Matt. 5:16; Eph. 2:8-10, Gal. 6:10). By design, we are to make things and people around us better. A public restroom that’s a bit cleaner after you leave. A discouraged soul whose heart is lifted as a result of your brief conversation. A kind gesture on the roadway that allows another traveler into your lane. A door held for someone. A small gift left behind.

By making things and people around you better, your presence is made known.

People often respond to those kinds of gracious acts by drawing attention to you; putting you on a little pedestal head and shoulders above others. While that may make you feel good, make sure that they realize the source of your goodness. The city on a hill they saw in your life is a glimpse of the New Jerusalem where Christ reigns. The light they observed in you is a reflection of Jesus, the ultimate Light of the World. The salt they may have detected is a reminder that they can taste and see that the Lord is good.

As that salt, light, and city make your presence known. Make things and people around you better today.


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