God is a Giver.
Here in week three of Curating the Good, we are mediating on this truth: God gives good.
Just a little recap: We started with the truth that He IS good (if anything is good, it is because of Him, it is through Him). We explored the truth that He MAKES good (we pondered all that He has made and saw more about who He is, by examining what He has made).
We call Curating the Good a “practice,” because it is a behavior we choose to adopt so we can experience Him more deeply. Like any other spiritual practice, it doesn’t come naturally for many of us—we (did you see this coming?), we need to practice, daily.
For school, I recently read about a performance improvement theory called Appreciative Inquiry. This theory is completely different from anything else we have studied. Where all of the other processes ask people to assess needs or find problems (to identify what is NOT working), Appreciate Inquiry (AI) directs organizations to determine what IS working, to find the good parts, people, and processes at work in the organization. Considering our practice of Curating the Good, Appreciative Inquiry caught my eye, but then there was this important tenet that really hit home: What we focus on, grows.
What we focus on grows
What if we remember that this week? Let’s practice Appreciative Inquiry, spiritually, and let’s remember that what we focus on grows.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Let us focus on God as a good giver.
- He gives us His Son so we can be at peace with Him (Acts 10:36; Romans 5:1).
- He gives us eternal life, so we can never be parted from Him and His love (Romans 8:34-39).
- He gives us Himself, The Spirit, alive in us (1 Corinthians 1:20-22)
- He gives us more gifts—these are to be used for the good of others and to glorify Him (1 Peter 4:8-11; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
His giving calls out the giver in all of us. We are to give, as He has given to us. We are to love, as He loves.
This is HARD. Am I right?
It’s easier to put myself first, to overlook others. It is easier to judge other, hold grudges, stoke the fires of bitterness. Some of us struggle to love our neighbors as we love ourselves because we don’t like to serve. Or we know it won’t be appreciated. Some of us set out to serve just to be recognized, noticed, and praised. This should not be surprising. God says NONE of us is righteous, not one of us does good (Romans 3:10-12; Psalm 14:1-3; Psalm 53:1-3).
So what does God do? He Gives Us Good. When Jesus died, we inherited. We received the Spirit, with the Spirit came power and truth and…gifts. He gives us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These gifts grow in us as we mature, spiritually. The gifts are always there, but sometimes they are hidden in our flesh.
Focus on THIS
How can we access those gifts, our inheritance? If we want to see the Spirit manifest Himself in us (show Himself at work in our lives), we need to focus on HIM. Diving deeper into relationship with Him will have us repenting and humbling ourselves, drawing near to Him. His nearness is our good. He is our good. And as we move toward Him, He gives us HIS goodness, to share.
What we focus on grows. Let’s focus on relationship with the Lord, the Giver of Life.
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