Our Daily Bread Devotional For December 2, 2023 : Topic – Building Up Goodwill
Bible in a Year:
From [Christ] the whole body . . . grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
One of the underlying themes in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is the city of Ephesus’ relationship to magic. Acts 19:19 says that because of the gospel’s impact in the city “a number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas” (a drachma was worth about a day’s wages). Therefore, it was imperative that the Ephesian believers in Jesus clearly understood that the miracles performed among them were the result of God’s power—not some magical incantation to the powers of darkness (Ephesians 5:8, 11; 6:12).
Message : When we think of best business practices, what first comes to mind probably aren’t qualities like kindness and generosity. But according to entrepreneur James Rhee, they should. In Rhee’s experience as CEO at a company on the brink of financial ruin, prioritizing what he calls “goodwill”—a “culture of kindness” and a spirit of giving—saved the company and led to its flourishing. Putting these qualities central gave people the hope and motivation they needed to unify, innovate, and problem-solve. Rhee explains that “goodwill . . . is a real asset that can compound and be amplified.”
In daily life too, it’s easy to think of qualities like kindness as vague and intangible, afterthoughts to our other priorities. But, as the apostle Paul taught, such qualities matter most of all.
Writing to new believers, Paul emphasized that the purpose of believers’ lives is transformation through the Spirit into mature members of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:15). To that end, every word and every action has value only if it builds up and benefits others (v. 29). Transformation in Jesus can only happen through daily prioritizing kindness, compassion, and forgiveness (v. 32).
When the Holy Spirit draws us to other believers in Christ, we grow and mature as we learn from one another.
Reflect & Pray
Why do you think we often fail to see the tangible impact of “goodwill”? How can you grow in prioritizing kindness?
Dear God, teach me daily what truly matters—the love poured out through Your Son.