Remember in 8th grade math when they talk about how a square is a rectangle but a rectangle is not a square? Well, I think that's kinda how it is with kindness and goodness. Kindness is a part of goodness, but goodness is not fully wrapped up by the term "kindness."
To be good is to reflect God.
What is good?
For those of us in the midst of parenting, I think we may sometimes mislabel "good".
Is being "good" being quiet?
Is being "good" following all the rules and laws?
Is being "good" being organized and tidy?
Because sometimes we communicate that to our kids.
Is being "good" having a nice home with decorated walls?
Is being "good" having well-behaved (and well-dressed) kids?
Is being "good" having a job?
Is being "good" having kids?
Is being "good" being thin and fit?
Is being "good" having everyone like us (or at least trying)?
Is being "good" being kind at any cost?
Is being "good" quietly accepting things as they are?
Because sometimes we let ourselves believe these lies, don't we?
Sometimes we think something is "good" because that's what society tells us is important. And sometimes we think the Scriptures tell us these things too, only to find out that... they may not.
So what is good?Everything that God is. Which is a lot.
He is generous. We are reflecting him when we practice generosity.
He is compassionate. We are reflecting him when we are "suffering with" those around us.
He is trustworthy. We are reflecting him when we keep our word.
He is angered at injustice. We are reflecting him when we don't just keep our mouths shut at the horrible things happening around us.
He lives in community with Himself (Trinity). We are reflecting him when we are living in community with those around us.
He is forgiving. We are reflecting him when we extend a hand of forgiveness and reconciliation.
He is full of grace. We are reflecting him when we offer grace to those around us.
He is humble. We are reflecting him when we consider others better than ourselves.
But there's a catch.
Remember that all these fruits are not of our own hard work?
These are fruits of the Spirit.
Things which God works inside of us...
as we work towards them ourselves.
It's certainly not magic, but it's not by sheer efforts either.
Not a lot in here in the way of kids stuff, but I think that as we grasp what true goodness is, it'll pour over into the way we teach and love and train our kids.
And if you and the kids are doing the memorizing with us, here are our printables!
Father, help us to be men and women of goodness. Teach us what goodness looks like in ourselves and our children.