Because of His Goodness
In today’s post, Common Good programme coordinator, Nathalie Koenig, reflects on how a revelation of God’s goodness should overflow into all we do.
God is good. As Christ-followers, we know this, but do we truly grasp the depth, height, and breadth of His goodness? Do we get it in all its glory?
When we use the lens of God’s goodness to explore what motivates us to live social justice, there is suddenly a deeper, more truth-filled dimension to the ‘why’ behind what we do or how we live out this mandate. It is out of this revelation of God’s goodness to us that we are motivated to be a part of His plan to restore all of His creation. We asked some of our partner organisations to add their thoughts to this conversation…
Jacqui Tooke, chairperson of the board of Izandla Zethemba:
“The good news is that Jesus came to take back ALL that has been lost. More than just personal salvation, as amazing as that is, he is taking back all that has been lost in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. And it is such a vibrant, life-giving joy to be used by Him to bring His kingdom into a person’s life. It doesn’t have to be in a big way. It could be simply listening to someone who has a story to tell, praying with someone so that they can see how much they are loved by the King, or buttering 300 bread rolls for a kids outing. It is such a privilege to be used by God in His taking back what has been lost. My faith grows, my intimacy with Him grows, and my life takes on new meaning and purpose. That is the goodness of God!”
God is so good that He allows us to participate in His plan to take back all that has been lost. So good that by participating in that plan, we experience His goodness. However, that’s not to say that, even with God’s goodness as our motivation, it’ll be easy.
Steven Nicolson, director of Arise offers some of the challenges his team has faced:
“The Arise team knows firsthand that a commitment to serving God and living lives of social justice inevitably comes with a share of discomfort that can sometimes seem more than fair. During our long year of strategic planning, we struggled at times with the process of discerning God’s plan for our organisation and sometimes doubted our decision to refocus or examine our work, preferring instead to remain content with what seemed easy or achievable. But this year, as that plan has been put into action, we have been overwhelmed by God’s goodness toward us and His incredible transformative work in the lives of the children and families we serve. Last week, we launched a new workshop for adults in Heideveld, and every single one of the participants responded with enthusiasm as they reflected on the growth in their own lives. We are thankful that God is at work, strengthening us with power in His Spirit and rooting us in love. He is truly accomplishing immeasurably more than all we have asked or imagined!”
Why take the harder road? Because God is too good for half-measures. God is too good for us to stay a millimetre out of the fullness He has for us. In His goodness, God allows us to reveal His image to the world as we step out with Him and share His goodness.
Megan Cairns from U-turn Homeless Ministries:
“Gospel motivated social action. That is our mantra. The depth of God’s perfect character is best displayed in his sacrifice for the sinner. His kindness is displayed in his out-stretched hand toward the cast off, vulnerable and marginalized. And only when we recognize and mirror the depth of His goodness to others, especially the vulnerable, can we be the image-bearer He’s intended us to be to society.”
Why live social justice? Why respond to people living in poverty or facing injustices? Why step out of our comfort zones? Why ask God to open our eyes to suffering? Why lament with Him when He reveals things to us that we would rather not have known about?
Because God is good.
We don’t respond because of guilt or obligation or the past or people’s rights (though these are also important), but our primary motivation should be because God is a loving and good Father. So good that we can’t help but share His goodness and overflow with the generosity He’s shown us. That we can’t help loving people the way He loves them, and giving our lives to His purposes.
– Izandla Zethemba, Arise and U-turn are three of Common Good’s partner organisations. To find out more about their ministries and how you can get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 021 686 2970.