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GOODNESS: What is it?

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness 2 Peter 1:5

What does Peter mean by goodness? The Greek word was common in secular language and meant “excellence”, to do something to a very high standard. Like performing in elite sport with excellency. Peter also uses the word in verse 3 saying that God has “called us by his own glory and goodness”. Michael Green suggests that “Christians must work out the salvation that God works in them”. Our lives must reflect the character of Jesus.

Goodness is Christlikeness. It is “what would Jesus do” not just on a wristband but worked out in the cauldron of competitive sport. It is competing for all you are worth but not taking an unfair advantage. It is practical, not theoretical.

There is a lovely story of the Nigerian tennis player, Nduka Odizor, discovering that his opponent in a grass-court tournament had no grass-court shoes. Ozidor lent his opponent his spare shoes and lost the match! That was sheer Christian goodness.

Remember the exchange in CS Lewis’ The lion, the witch and the wardrobe: “Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

Our God isn’t always “safe” but he is good. So should we be. Think of a way you can exhibit God’s goodness in your sporting life this week. STUART WEIR

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