Category Archives: Goodness

Good people

Aunt Sis by Lydia Floren

Andrew and I went to visit my Aunt Sis this week.  She is 92 years old. She still has an impish grin and twinkle in her eye, though her health and mental faculties have declined a bit. She calls me “darlin’” though she doesn’t remember exactly who I am.  That doesn’t matter, because I definitely remember who she is.  My Aunt Sis is an incredible human being.

A human exclamation point

My cousin Sam, her youngest son, fondly calls her a “human exclamation point.“  In her healthier days, she was full of vigor, a true southern lady.  She was one of those folks who never met a stranger.  She always remembered everyone’s name, and what was going on in their life and their family, and even how they like their iced tea: sweet or unsweet.  She could make any awkward newcomer feel like a part of things within five minutes of entering her house.  In fact when she greeted anyone at the door, friend or stranger, she would throw open her arms and say “come on in this house!”

Aunt Sis was a gracious hostess. 

Aunt Sis was a gracious hostess.  She welcomed stray family members like me:  many a weekend in college I came “home” to her house, “my” bedroom all ready for me (my folks lived too far away for weekend visits).  One year I even spent the whole summer there  when my job kept me in Georgia.  Several foreign exchange students also enjoyed Aunt Sis and Uncle Jake’s  hospitality over the years. Those students didn’t realize until later that part of that hospitality included a lifetime “adoption” into the Hodges clan.

Aunt Sis was the ultimate entertainer. When our family visited in the summers, she would stock the freezer with ice cream treats and the walk-in with cases of bottled cokes.  And boy could she throw a party.  It might be a paper plate barbecue down at the carriage house, or Christmas dinner for the extended family complete with linens, silver and china.    She was every bit as comfortable hosting a coffee for the Sunday school ladies as she was serving a steak dinner to the Georgia Tech basketball team.

It’s about people

It was never about “show” with Aunt Sis.  It was always about people.  People weren’t merely a part of Aunt Sis’s life. People were – and are – her life.  The highest compliment Aunt Sis could say about someone was to say that they were “good people.” Many times after she introduced someone to me,  she would put her hand on their arm, turn to me,  look me straight in the eye and say

“Now Lydia, Darlin’, these folks are ‘good people.’”

I would nod and smile. She didn’t elaborate. She didn’t have to. I knew exactly what she meant.

Good people

“Good people” were Godly people.  “Good people” were honest, kind and gracious.  They were people of integrity, generous, and compassionate.  They cared deeply about others, and did a lot for others no one ever knew about.  In short, “good people” were like Aunt Sis.

God is good people. 

God is good.  God is “good people.”  He has a good heart. He is honest and integritable, welcoming and warm.  He has common sense and practical advice, and a strong sense of right and wrong.  He is generous and wise and loving.  He does what’s right, even if he is misunderstood for it.  God cares deeply about others–more than people realize—and is always working in this world to take care of those He loves.

What’s great about good people

You know what’s great about “good people”? The more you’re around them the more they rub off on you. Aunt Sis may be nearing the end of her life on this earth, but she hasn’t quit rubbing off on me.  Her habits– “good people” skills – echo through my life, encouraging me to

  • Give joyfully
  • Entertain graciously
  • Brag about others enthusiastically
  • Hug wholeheartedly

And of course, lovingly bestow terms of endearment –“precious”  “dear one”  “sweetie” “ baby doll” and her favorite (and mine)– “darlin’”

The fruit of the Spirit call goodness is really just God’s goodness in us.

The fruit of the Spirit call goodness is really just God’s goodness in us. It’s there. We just choose whether we’re going to let it out or not.

In  her life, Aunt Sis chose to let God’s goodness to shine through her, loving people in her own special way.   In so doing, she unknowingly encouraged the rest of us to love others a little more, and love them a little better.

Aunt Sis is “good people”.  No matter where she is– on earth or in heaven–she will always encourage me to be “good people” too.

Oh, by the way, darlin’, how do you like your tea–sweet or unsweet?

We would love to hear from you!  How DO you like your tea?

“Good” gets a bad rap. God is good.

God is good

by  Lydia Floren

The word “good” often gets a bad rap.  “Good” might mean unapproachable, perfectionistic, hypocritical, obsessive compulsive, squeaky clean, self-righteous, pompous.

A “good person” might bring to mind a “goody two shoes”, teacher’s pet, brown-noser, self-righteous prick or a clean freak.

Does anyone really want to be good, or to be around good people?  Well, yes, I think we do, because we know that “good” really means honorable, trustworthy, kindhearted, selfless, genuine, approachable, giving, humble.

When we hear “God is good”, what image surfaces?  A tall white-robed  man holding out a stick, frowning down at us?  Is God that harsh, unapproachable, difficult to please, and downright mean-spirited guy we sometimes think He is?  No. Definitely not. God is no monster.

God is not out to get you:  He is out to bless you.

Remember the aftermath of 9-11?  Being afraid to open mail, being suspicious of unaccompanied suitcases in an airport?  You would not accept a package, and certainly not open one, unless you trusted the sender.  We are every bit as hesitant to trust God sometimes, believing at some level that He really is out to get us, like a bait and switch scheme.  Know this:  You cannot receive and open the gift of abundant life God has given you without first accepting that God is truly good.  God is not out to get you.  He is out to bless you.

Here is the truth–God is good:  God is loving, joyful, peace-loving, patient, kind, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. 

God is

  • forgiving,
  • generous,
  • creative,
  • tenderhearted,
  • respectful,
  • strong,
  • honest,
  • protective

No one will love you more or take care of you better—both now and in eternity—than God.  He is totally trustworthy. There is no evil in God. None.

God is genuinely 100% good.

It is safe to follow Him.  In fact, you are safest when you follow Him.

“God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5 NASB

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10  NASB

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NLT

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. ” Hebrews 11:6 NLT

Q:  What does God is good mean to you?  Share your story below.