Good is a Big Word!
'Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.' - Proverbs 16:24
John Krasinski has created a 'Good News' channel which is all about celebrating goodness in todays society! - This is my favourite episode so far, featuring the cast of Hamilton.
Words. They are so powerful and have the power to build but also to destroy. We need to think very carefully about what we say and how we say it. Especially when the world around us gives so many opportunities to speak negativity and destruction – ‘Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them’ Ephesians 4:29 – We have a unique opportunity right now to speak peace and faith into a confused society.
In school does anyone else remember being told that we need to broaden our vocabulary and stop using ‘simple’ words? Don’t say ‘nice’ use ‘lovely’ instead, no it’s not ‘sad’ its ‘devastating’… no no no it’s not just ‘good’, it’s ‘great’. But actually, good is a big word. I love words and writing and finding interesting ways to communicate and yes, I agree we shouldn’t limit our vocabulary but what I’m trying to show is actually some of these ‘simple’ words, are the best to use. They have no way to be confused, no ulterior motive - they are big words, with big meanings.
I decided to do a bit of digging into the word ‘good’ and how it is used in the bible. In the dictionary good has 42 different meanings when used as an adjective! That’s a lot, see I told you it is a BIG word. One way good is often used in the bible is when the suffix ‘-ness’ is added, creating the noun goodness. In Greek, the word goodness can be translated as ‘agathosune’ which means having an uprightness of heart and life; being respected and honoured because of the way you live. It can be seen as similar to ‘chrestotes’ (Kindness), however, when we compare in more detail ‘agathosune’ means so much more than being kind, it means passionately being active in doing good. So, where kindness is more passive, the Greek translation shows us that to have taken on goodness, means to actively be good, kind, lovely (enter any other synonym here you wish!).
Choosing to be actively good is what God is calling us into this season. As society has completely changed it can be so easy to let that affect our emotional and spiritual attitudes. I believe God wants us to use this time to go deeper into the word of God, to come closer towards Him and towards our neighbours/our families and to welcome the Holy Spirits work and gifts in our lives, more than ever before. One of the fruits of the Spirit, that God wants for our lives is goodness (Galatians 5) - He didn’t say ‘greatness’ or ‘fantasticness’ he said goodness for a reason. Actively choosing to do good; Maybe for you this could look like spending time praying for people in your life, sending them encouragements and bible verses; Possibly you are able to support your neighbours practically by going shopping for them, cooking them a meal, etc; You might have signed up to support the NHS and go ‘on call’ for them; Perhaps you are a key worker, busy and working intensely and you can show goodness by bringing the presence of God with you into your workplace, speaking words of affirmation and joy into tense atmospheres.
‘Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers and make the most of every opportunity. Let conversation be gracious and attractive’ – Colossians 4:4-6
We have been told ‘no’, ‘stop’, ‘stay’ a lot recently – all advice which we need to follow in our natural lives. But not in our spiritual ones. We do not have to stop or pause our relationships with God. Now is the time to draw nearer than ever before! Now is the time to spread God’s GOOD NEWS, in new and creative ways.
Words are powerful. Let’s use them for good.
‘The tongue can be set on fire by heaven!’ – Levi Lusko