The Religion Corner
Lyndia Grant | 6/22/2011, 2:07 p.m.
Look for the Good in Everyone: It is a Message of the Fruit of Our Spirit!
The apostle Paul summed up what he felt a Christian personality should reflect in the nine fruits of the spirit. Found in the book of Gallatians 5:22-25, it reads: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."
Andrew Carnegie, a wealthy 19th century businessman and philanthropist, recounted the story of digging for gold. When digging for gold, he said, you must dig through an awful lot of dirt to find the gold, but while you're digging don't focus on the dirt; you're only looking for the gold.
That's what we must learn, while we criticize or complain about the awful things that people are doing around us, or to us; that's when we're focused on the dirt, instead of the gold -- the good, the joy, and the kindness that each man offers.
Tell the people in your life how wonderful they are. Find something good about everyone in your life. The grumbler, or weeping Jeremiah's find fault, they look for the bad rather than the good.
There's definite power in finding good in your life and in people - it can transform them. Finding fault serves no purpose. If you know anything about finding fault in others, you know that it only makes the situation worse. If you want individuals to change, look for the good in them. Let them know just how wonderful you think they really are.
There's a story that tells it all.
Through the example of a young boy, a mean old man learns that money and good breeding do not necessarily make one noble; rather, nobility is defined by one's actions.
Mickey Rooney played the role of Little Lord Fauntleroy in the 1936 film adaption of the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel. It's an incredible tale about finding the 'good' in a person. The story revolves around a little boy, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y with his mother in "genteel poverty" after the death of his father. The mother exemplifies not only beauty, but compassion, kindness and grace. The little boy inherits all of his mother's inherent characteristics and can find no wrong in people.
After the deaths of his father's older brothers, the boy inherits thousands of acres of land, and a castle. Everything imaginable was bestowed upon the young lad.
The mother travels with her son to England. She has told her son only good things about her husband's father because she wanted her son to like his grandfather, despite his obvious disdain for her. When the little boy meets his grandfather, he's gracious and complimentary to the old man, who he believes is a kind and generous person. The grandfather can't understand this at all.
His grandfather, the Earl of Dorincourt, could not tolerate anyone, and no one liked him, either. He constantly reprimands his servants and tells everyone to "get out of my sight, you make me sick!"
Slowly, the grandfather begins to melt in the presence of the little boy. He said, "I never thought much about children." But because of the love demonstrated by the child, the old man changed. Love remains one of the most powerful forces in the world and most people don't understand it.
Try it. It's the fruit of our spirit. Who doesn't want to feel loved, who doesn't want to laugh and enjoy their lives, experience kindness while dealing with others? It's what the apostle Paul describes as a Christian personality.
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the Washington metro area. Call her at 202-518-3192; email: firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.facebook.com/lyndia.grant; https://twitter.com/LyndiaGrant; website: http://www.lyndiagrant.com.