Goodness! Pluto's Not a Planet?
Yes. We're still studying "Goodness" as a Fruit of the Spirit...
When I was a child, I learned that we had 9 planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. So, I'm having difficulty now that they booted Pluto off the list. Goodness! And yes, I've known about poor Pluto for a while now. Don't judge me.
What I'm saying is that now, in 2020, I'm asked to see Pluto in a different way - since August 24, 2008, in fact. (Yep, I looked that up.)
God works like that sometimes. He blindsided me with Scripture just recently as I read Matt. 5:15-16. "Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. (16) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
These verses fall into the category of "Things that Blew My Mind in 2020." That list grows longer every day... Had I read those 2 verses before? I'm certain I had, but they hit me in a new way this time.
Does God ever do that with you? He gives you a hint at something in His word, and then years later - when you look at it again - you see it in a new way? Maybe it's just the way I was brought up.
Back in the day, I was taught to "be good" and to "do good things." You know - Be kind. Help others...that sort of stuff. But the difference was that it was always stressed to me that, in order to prevent pride, we must never brag/boast or even let others see what we had done. Any good I did basically had to be anonymous.
Paradigm Shift. Oh, goodness!
I don't believe that's what Jesus meant - primarily because of verse 16 which spells it out quite clearly: In the same way (as lighting a lamp for a stand) let your light shine before others (exchange the work "Light" with life or actions) so that they may see your good works and (Yes! Jesus wants the world to take notice of what His followers do so they will...) give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.
We're not commanded to do good in anonymity, but we are commanded to do good. The whole point is for our good works to be seen by others as blessings FROM GOD and not just random acts from the universe or general public.
If we are doing good, the trick is to do it with the right motive - not to shine a spotlight on ourselves - but to promote the Kingdom of God. If you become haughty about all the things you've done and how great you are or how much God is using you, then you've missed the point entirely.
We are to do good because we are the practical hands and feet of Christ on Earth. And it happens with a well-placed, earnest prayer that when others see what good we've done, they will see God at work.
Father, thank You that You reveal Your Word to us in small, digestible pieces and new each time we visit it. Help others see You at work when they see each of us.