Being a good person means different things to people. Some may consider helping others as important. It doesn’t matter what’s the nature of the help. It may mean bringing a meal to a friend when he or she is sick and giving a glass of water to a thirsty beggar. One’s reason for doing such an act is important in the scheme of things. Are you doing this service to be praised? Will you pat yourself on your back saying, “how wonderful you are?”
Some people consider themselves good because they willingly give to charitable organizations e.g., Salvation Army, the cancer society, mental health, diabetic association, Alzheimer, or cystic fibrosis groups. Others participate in “Walkatons” to raise money for finding cures. These people are often looked at as helping good causes.
A Trustworthy Character
It’s good to be helpful but another to be trustworthy. Are you reliable? Will you go that extra mile to help someone? Some people devote themselves to a cause and give their all. Do you feed the poor? How often do you distribute food through the local Foodbank? Or, do you do volunteer work at your church, hospital, or library?
We praise such acts that good people do. But are you honest? Do you cheat on your income tax? It’s known that some will inflate their numbers when it comes to charitable donations. It could be that they allow things to slip and didn’t keep adequate records of their gifts. Some people are known too, to fudge on their medical expenses. How do these misdemeanors apply to you? Are you still as dependable as you think you are? Are you a rock to others or merely shifting sand?
Goodness and Holiness
The Gospel says we’re all sinners. Some great saints are known to have lived tarnished lives. St. Augustine (354 – 430 A.D.), One of the Fathers of the Catholic Church previously lived in his youth in a rather rambunctious way. He was an intellectual but a wild man. In his autobiography Confessions he extrapolated on his troublesome deeds that he very much regretted. Still, he was saved by God, and much of today’s theology of the Catholic church was shaped by him.
A saint who died at the age of 24, who was of exceptional holiness, is 18th century’s St. Therese of Lisieux. She prayed to suffer for redemptive purposes and wrote the Story of a Soul, as a Carmalite nun steadfast in the faith. She because of her dedication to “the small way,” viewed people to be like “little children.” St. Therese thought this was the way to enter the Kingdom of God. As a doctor of the universal church she foresaw that through goodness the faithfulness of innocence would grow.
To be a good person isn’t always how well-liked a person is, but how genuine is his or her heart in the eyes of God. This is being good, benevolent, and committed to the Christian faith. We must accept God’s will for us. This is to be pious and virtuous. In accepting Jesus Christ is to believe in Agathism – all things incline towards good. We are Agathists when our actions are well-intentioned and lead to personal growth in the faith.