By DR. BRIAN GIGEE
“Proverbial Goodness!” (2nd in a series of four articles focusing on ancient proverbs from the Bible and other cultures.)
“I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.” – (Romans 15:14)
At a funeral you will hear someone say… “she was a good person.” Or you might attend a celebration of a friend being honored to hear he is good both inside and out. When it comes to goodness it’s easy to see that it’s not just all around us… there is goodness inside of us, too… each and every one of us… as this is what St. Paul noticed in his friends… his Christian friends in Rome. So, here’s the second entry on ‘proverbial goodness.’ I hope you will see the goodness in you today! Faith matters. It does.
There is an old Finnish proverb that goes like this… “Even a small star shines in the darkness.” Get it? Somewhere in the vast darkness of the universe there is a light… small as it may be… shining… for all it’s worth… and likewise… somehow in the dark inner person of each of us there is something worth noting… a sense of goodness that attempts to reveal something about us… something that will be remembered and celebrated. God knows… we all need a bit of that… especially in this ongoing Covid-19 laced world of ours…
When you look in the mirror do you see that goodness? When you close your eyes can you feel the goodness within the world is craving? Do you wake up in the morning and ask yourself… ‘what goodness can I offer up my family, friends, co-workers and the world today?’ All good questions for the soul and I’m trusting you have a good answer for each!
Do you think I’m due some goodness? Are you? If yes… then how will that goodness come to us? In the book of Proverbs we can read… “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” (Proverbs 3:27). Ah… there’s a clue… not only do you and I deserve some goodness… and if this passage bears some truth… then there is goodness in each of us to share with others… and that means there is enough good in all of us to spread around. Whoah! No end to God’s goodness… each of us needing some and each of us having the capacity to offer up some to those who might need a bit more that day… and I believe this is God’s way of reminding us that each one of us is full of goodness… especially when there is a world out there which seems to be saying… “you’re full of it…” whatever ‘it’ might be.
But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves and begin to promote our own grandiosity… as the old Zulu proverb reminds us… “Even the most beautiful fig may contain a worm.” Word.
There seems to be a lot of yelling at one another these days… people taking up sides… interrupting… and diligently looking to find something terrible about someone rather than looking for the good within. And it may appear to be an important thing to do but overall it’s not been very effective and I truly believe casts a negative shadow on all of us… then on to our neighbor… and finally deeper into the culture and around the globe. The old Arab proverb helps… “Examine what is said, not who speaks.”
From where does goodness come? Jesus said… “the kingdom is within you!” We need not look far… so I would say… from God. Goodness is a gift. Find God and find the goodness within.
Rev. Dr. Brian K. Gigee is a long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches in Texas and Louisiana over the last four decades. Follow his blog ‘murmurings’ at https://briangigee.wordpress.com/. Please send your comments and / or questions to [email protected].