Matthew 7:12 - "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets." (NLT)
Lesson From Scripture: The Widow's Offering in Mark 12
In Mark 12:41-44 there was a collection box at the temple where crowds would go to give their money. Jesus sat and watched all the wealthy people come and drop in large amounts of money. Then came a poor widow who dropped in two coins. Jesus explained to his disciples how her donation was greater than all those that came before her, because she gave all she had. While others gave a portion of their income, she gave it all.
Being good is not just about giving money, but giving from the heart. The woman sacrificed her money in order to do good. Goodness is a fruit of the spirit, because it takes effort to cultivate. Matthew 7:12 is often called "The Golden Rule," because it defines how we should treat one another. Sometimes we need to put effort into how we speak and act toward one another. We need to ask ourselves how we would feel if we were treated the way we were treating others.
Being good is not necessarily about making easy choices. There are so many messages out there telling us it is okay to "sin." Today we are taught that "if it feels good, it must be good." Yet the Bible tells us many different things about those "feel good" acts like sex and drinking. While some of them are good things, they are usually good in the right context.
Yet goodness comes from a place in our hearts. It comes from a focus on God and not a focus on what the world tells us is good. While both versions of goodness can overlap, a Christian teen's focus should be on God's idea of good.
In your prayers this week ask God to show you true goodness. Ask Him to help the fruit of goodness to grow in your heart so you can treat others well. Ask Him to give you insight into your behavior and see how others are affected by your actions.