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A Super-Woman teaches her children to be good
an Abiding Woman teaches her children to be Godly
This topic really has had me pondering in circles for the last week.It ultimately required deeper study into God's word on the difference between doing good works and pursuing Godliness.Because isn't goodness, good?
The easy conclusion I came to, of course, is yes, indeed it is.
We are to be zealous for good works as well as it being one of the Fruit of the Spirit.
Titus 2:14 (nlt)He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
There is a need for God’s people to do the right things. In fact James says for the man who knows the good thing to do but does not do it, it is a sin. (James 4:17)
Ephesians 2:10 (nkjv)For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
However, I also found that striving to be good may exclude from something much better than goodness alone.
I found two dangers, or risks we'll call them,
when striving for goodness...
- Goodness may become a substitute for godliness.It is so nice to see our children being good, doing good. It makes me feel like I'm accomplishing my role as a parent. But good kids can go wrong. People that do not know salvation and redemption through Christ can still live moral and good lives.
God wants His children to be godly. For just doing good is not enough to shake off this world's corruption and become like Jesus. That is what sets us apart. We can still perform "good" things out of our flesh, making them solely surface. But to be zealous for good works and live out loud the Fruit of the Spirit of goodness comes from the root or foundation of Godliness.
1 Timothy 4:7-8 (nlt)Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.
2 Peter 1:2-4 (nlt)May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
- Goodness is performance based.
We must certainly encourage our children to do the right things, follow the rules, obey our instruction, etc., but we must not give the impression that only therein is success. Our highest praise must be reserved for godliness because God is in it.Since goodness is performance based the standards are inconsistent. You call one thing good, another person calls it bad.
But Godliness is Spirit-based.
1 Timothy 3:16 (amp)And great and important and weighty, we confess, is the hidden truth of godliness. He [God] was made visible in human flesh, justified and vindicated in the [Holy] Spirit, was seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, [and] taken up in glory.
These things relate to what you believe not what you do.
Titus 2:11-14 (nlt)For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
My encouragement for you, my friends,
along with myself for this week is this:
We must be building in our children a desire to be like Christ. We must look between the lines of their behavior and examine their attitudes.We must be the ultimate example. Rather than setting for ourselves standards, living by them, and calling it good, let us dive deeper into intimacy with the Father, cultivating those roots of Godliness found by His Spirit. For where Godliness dwells, good works prevail.
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