I recently came across an interesting verse that fits with this issue’s main theme of goodness. I had read it before, but this time it made more of an impression on me.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul says, “Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.”1 The New King James Version uses “righteous” instead of “upright.”
Recently, after reading an article on the BBC News website,1 I found myself faced with a few tough questions. The article, a modern-day “Good Samaritan” tale, is worth checking out as an inspiring example of the impact one sincere loving deed can have.
Reading this story made me evaluate my own track record of late. Would I have done the same? Would I be willing to risk my job to help a stranger in need? Unsatisfied with my replies, I also tried some less dramatic-sounding questions. Would my friends say I’m someone who lends a helping hand? Have I done any purely altruistic deeds recently?
None of her friends or family understands why she has done it, and most of them would like to shake her out of her foolishness. Their objections make sense. After all, May is in her mid-forties and has been living alone ever since her daughter moved out. May is also in debt. And yet, here she is, raising her ex-husband’s child by another woman.
May married early and was divorced by her early twenties, but even before that, she had been raising her first child alone, as her ex-husband had a drug addiction and spent as much time in prison as out.
I don’t think that God intended any marriage to be perfect. I think of it as the “thorn” factor that He allows into the equation—that element that we shrink from, but that He knows we need. You may wonder, Why would we need differences of opinion, sensitivities, misunderstandings, jealousies, resentments, comparing, sacrificing, arguments, emotional upsets, fears, heartbreaks, and adversity? Those things don’t sound like they would build a very strong marriage.
Appreciation is a human need. It’s not just something that’s nice to have when possible, but something that each person needs in order to be happy and to thrive. That’s true in every setting, but it’s perhaps nowhere more evident than in the workplace. When people feel genuinely appreciated by those they work for and with, they’re much more likely to be excellent contributors and “team players.”
Overworked and underappreciated. It’s sad whenever that can be said of anyone, but even sadder when it describes people who deserve extra appreciation for sacrificially giving of themselves day after day. I’m thinking at the moment of one group in particular—women.
It’s a complicated and demanding business, being a woman these days. Women make up a large percentage of the workforce and account for more of the average family’s earnings than they used to. More women worldwide are leaders in the political and professional sectors than ever before. At the same time, women are expected to continue to fill their traditional roles in the family and community—roles that in some ways have become tougher in these challenging modern times. An increasing number also carry the responsibility of raising children alone. In all, far more is expected of women today than even one or two generations ago.
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.Against such there is no law."1
“If my brother offends me, how many times shall I forgive him?” someone once asked Jesus, before offering a hopeful guess. “Seven times?”
“No, seventy times seven!” was Jesus’ reply.2 In other words, we should never stop forgiving.