An autistic person’s guide to the fruit of the Spirit
Part 6: Goodness
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Lots of things are good. You can eat a good steak or a good five bean chilli, go for a good walk or see a good sunrise. Our church serves good coffee. If something is good it possesses all the qualities of what it is meant to be.
The Fruit of the Spirit are attributes of God. That God is good hardly needs saying to people who read the Old Testament. There are Psalms which talk about the goodness of God. In the well known Psalm 23 David says of God, “your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,” but the whole psalm is about God’s goodness, how he, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”
People can be good too. The volunteer firefighters who gave their lives just before this blog’s first draft, tackling the wildfires which are burning across the Australian states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria were good men, whether they knew it or not. The image of God is present in everybody–we all have the potential of being good.
But goodness is not as easy as badness. The carnal mind is enmity against God, says Paul in Romans 8:5. Human nature is to be bad but the nature of God within us is good. Life is a struggle between the two. An internal Spiritual war is a sign that you are pursuing goodness. That is why we need the constant indwelling of God’s Spirit.
Being good is something we do. It is praxis, what we do, not theory. Goodness is not the lack of doing good, Jesus warned those who did not feed the hungry nor give the thirsty drink, did not welcome strangers, did not clothe the naked, did not tend the sick and did not visit those in prison. God’s Holy Spirit produces fruit in us by leading us into action.
When we pray Holy Spirit come, we are saying to God I am available, send me.
A Theologian* said: “That which disposes God to be kind, cordial, benevolent, full of good will, tenderhearted, of quick sympathy, open, frank, and friendly; to bestow blessing and take pleasure in the happiness of people.” Are we becoming like that?
As an autistic person, I can find nothing specific that would affect us different to anyone else. The above applies to us all.
*My source http://www.christcovenantcullman.org/sermonnotes/fruitgoodness.html does not quote its source.
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