But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Thank you for continuing with me on this journey of looking at the fruit of the Spirit and how it applies to our lives. If you have missed any of the previous studies you may find them here: love, joy, peace, forbearance, and kindness.
Today I will be looking at the fruit of goodness. This is something that a lot of people may ask about…what is good? You may have asked yourself that at times. You may look at yourself and say you are not good and that there is nothing good in you. Yet, Paul tells us that one of the fruits of the Spirit is goodness.
So now the question is what is this ‘goodness’? The interesting thing about this term is that in the Greek the word here used is only used in the Bible. It cannot be found in any other Greek manuscript at all.
Strong’s concordance makes its usage as: intrinsic goodness, especially as a personal quality, with the stress on the kindly (rather than the righteous) side of goodness.
Goodness, then is doing the right thing towards other people at all times. It is how one is towards others, regardless of how the other person acts or reacts. It is the actions and words that one does and says to another person.
The greatest example of goodness is found in God Himself. How is God good? Take a look at what He has done for you. You have sinned against Him, deserving only death and punishment. Yet, God does not strike you, but offers you forgiveness and life. He gives you good things, rather than bad.
As a believer you are to be like God–good. Your words and actions should show the goodness of God, rather than the hate and harshness of this fallen world.
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Psalm 37:3
David tells us that we are to trust God and do good. This shows that good is an action. In order to be able to really do good, you must trust God. Trust that He knows what is best. Trust that He is in control. Trust that as you do good, He will take care of you, regardless of what the other person is doing.
There will come days when you have to treat a person with good, who is only giving you garbage and treating you badly. There will be some people who are difficult to love and be good to. This is where trusting God comes in.
When it is difficult to be good towards another person, take a moment to think about how God has been good towards you.
This leads to the next verse:
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
No one can deny that there is a lot of evil in this world. Even the world will admit to this. The world will even admit that there are some things that are evil and bad–murder, rape, destruction. Yet, the world lives in that evil and will even promote it as good in a twisted sort of way.
Being an individual in this world surrounded by millions who are not living for God, it can be easy for you to give in to that evil or repay back evil for evil. Some day someone, somewhere will do wrong towards you. Someone will treat you badly. You now have a choice as to how you will respond–with goodness or with evil.
Too often, even as Christians, we are quick to call down judgment or run to a judge for a judgment against someone, rather than turning the other cheek and loving the person. Turning the cheek and accepting being wronged is a sign of the goodness of God’s Spirit in you.
The world is quick to talk about a person being ‘good’ but there is a difference in being good for appearance sake and being good from the heart. When God’s Holy Spirit is inside of you, you will be living to be good because of Him being inside of you. You will not be trying to impress anyone or even God, it becomes who you are. Just as God is good and does not have to try to be good, we are to be the same.
Remember that to be a disciple of Jesus is to become like Him in every way. Jesus was good and so we are to be good. This can only be done by His Holy Spirit living in and through us.
Allow God’s Holy Spirit to dwell within you and change you. Starting with His love, then His joy, leading to His peace, to His forbearance, then to His kindness and on to His goodness. These are all the work of God’s Holy Spirit inside of you. It is the process of making you more into the image of Jesus everyday.
Please feel free to leave any comments, likes or to share this with anyone who can use it. Next week I will be continuing this study with looking at the fruit of the Spirit: faithfulness.
I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. Psalm 119:45
Many people do not walk in freedom in this world. They walk in fear of what they may be doing wrong. The biggest fear comes with fearing what others are thinking. It is found in fearing that others may think that what is being done is wrong.
It is been shown many times that most people will give in to peer pressure to do wrong, even when they know it is wrong to do. It is difficult to do something right while everyone is doing it wrong. People do not feel as though they have the freedom to do the correct thing.
Believers have the same problem. A believer had heard from God on what to do and how to do it. Many of the believers around him, try to tell him that he is wrong and that is the wrong way to do it.
Along with fearing what others may say, many believers do not really know what God is saying to do. They have not read the Bible to know what God’s word says. The Bible gives guidance as to how to live a life for God here on this earth.
When you have read the Bible and know what God says, you know what God wants you to do and how to do it. You know the sins God wants you to flee from. You also know that in Jesus Christ you have been forgiven of all sins and set free. In knowing these things, you can walk in freedom.
You are free from hearing condemnation from God. You are also free from fearing what other people may think, because you know you are in right standing with God.
The ability to walk in freedom comes with knowing God and His ways of doing things. Knowing and following Jesus is knowing God and His ways. As you walk as Jesus did, you will walk in freedom. Jesus never walked in bondage or fear.
How are you walking today?
As the world does, in fear and bondage?
Or as Jesus, in freedom?
I pray today that you will know God’s Word in your heart; that you will know the freedom Jesus provides; that you will walk a life of service to God; and that you will live in the freedom of God’s laws.
Does he not see my ways and count my every step? Job 31:4
Job is defending himself against the accusations that he did something wrong to bring on the wrath and punishment of God. He begins his defense by asking the question of whether or not God does actually see everything he does. In the following verses, Job asks them detailed questions on whether he is guilty or not of many different specific sins or wrong-doings. He also adds in that list that if he is guilty, then God may punish him according to the sins done.
The majority of people in the world do not believe that God even exists. Since there is no God, there can be no sin. Since there is no sin, there can be nothing done wrong. It is doing what is right in their own eyes.
With the world, living in this way is understandable and acceptable, however, no believer should be living like that.
In the church, there are many believers who do live like there is no God or that He is not really watching them. They are willing to gossip, cheat, lie, lust, look at porn, steal, and many other sinful acts. As they do it, they feel that God is not watching or does not care. Others do it with them mind-set that afterwards they can repent of the sin.
God is watching. And no one is guaranteed the next moment. With no guarantee of the next moment, the person may not have time to repent. Living in that way is purposefully living in sin and the heart is turning cold and against God, refusing the work of Jesus in their lives to transform them into a new creation.
Take a look at your own life. Would you be willing to ask anyone and everyone if they have ever seen you do anything wrong? If you did ask what would their report about your life be?
Then, even more importantly, would you be willing to ask that same question of God?
What would God’s report about you say?
Keep it always at the front of your mind that God is watching you. Do not live in fear of God, but out of love for Jesus do what is right at all times. God is watching and is seeing everything you think, say or do.
I pray today that you will live your life for Jesus; that you will live the holy life God has called you to; that you will know God sees everything; and that you will be a true witness of who Jesus is.
Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger. Job 17:9
Job just stated that God had made him a byword or one who is talked about by everyone. People looked at him and wondered what went wrong or what he was doing wrong to bring on God’s punishment. He now points out that the righteous will hold their ways and grow stronger.
When a person starts going through a very tough time, the rumor mill starts running. This is especially true for believers who begin to go through a time of major troubles. People begin to wonder what the person did to deserve that suffering or why God is abandoning that person.
As this type of action occurs it is very difficult for many people to continue living for God and doing the right things. Many will start to question how they are living and what they have been doing. They will start to believe that they have missed God’s will for their life.
During times like this, there are some who will change their ways. Some will choose to walk away from God, because they begin to believe that it was wrong all along or does not really matter. Others will just live in question as to whether they are on the right path in life or not.
One who is a true believer in Jesus will not question himself or God. He will know that following Jesus is the only way to live. He will know that living for God is right. He will not give in to the pressure to change or walk away from God.
Those who stay true to God, will be strengthened. The temptations to sin against God will be lowered because of their resolve to stay true to God. Their witness of God’s love and power will be shown in their life. Others will be able to see the power of God at work in their life.
You may be going through one of these difficult times right now, if not, you will most likely go through one some day. As you go through it, resolve to stay true to God and hold on. Do not give up on God. Do not walk away from what you know to be true about God. Live for God and you will be made stronger in the end by God.
I pray today that God will strengthen you by His Holy Spirit; that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will know that you are in God’s will; and that you will be a true witness for Jesus as you hold on and not give up.