Goodness – It’s Good for You!
There are plenty of things out there that we know are good for us, but we refuse to add them to our daily routines regardless of that knowledge. Daily exercise, eating more fruits and veggies, cutting down on screen time or sugary beverages–the list truly goes on and on. In many ways, whether we are young or old, in school or with several degrees, unemployed or working several important jobs, there is a little three-year-old in all of us that throws tantrums from time to time when we try to make positive changes in our lives.
Pictured: A toddler’s reaction to not being allowed to eat their dog’s food.
Goodness is listed as one of the nine fruit of the Spirit that all believers are supposed to nurture and grow as children of God. And it turns out, goodness is good for you! Christians often get a bad rap, even amongst themselves, for having to follow some rigid set of fun-restricting rules, but the reality is that God does not tell us to do things that are not good for us.
A verse that I want to turn to here, and that Josh brought up in his coverage of this topic in this past week’s HQ Youth lesson, is Philippians 4:8. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things,” (NIV). In other words, do not let negativity and sin fill up your head, fill your mind with goodness instead.
This might sound really abstract, but it has serious implications for our day-to-day well-being. When we allow ourselves to focus solely on the bad things (e.g. the lies people are telling about us, the disappointment/anger we have towards ourselves, the frustration we feel with our jobs/our friends/our families, etc.), it has a profound and detrimental effect on our mental and emotional health, which can in turn affect us negatively even on the physical level (e.g. headaches, stomach aches, loss of appetite, exhaustion, lethargy, etc.). Paul’s call for believers in Philippians 4:8 is to toss that negativity aside in favor of goodness. Focusing on goodness in our minds makes us more open to doing good for others, which in turn makes it easier for us to focus on good things and reinforces a circle of positivity in our lives that makes it easier to produce good fruit like love, joy, peace, and patience.
Whatever is good, do that! Whatever is good, think about that!
Trust me, it’ll be good for you.