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.
What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me? Psalm 116:12
When someone does something extremely good for someone else, the person that received the good act sometimes wants to return the favor. Sometimes they want to return the favor out of gratefulness. More often they feel an obligation to return the favor.
However, there are also many people who just accept the favor and continue on with life. They do not even attempt to return the favor. They just accept it as though they had already earned the favor.
It is common to hear people feel as though they deserved all the goodness that they are receiving. They expect others to give them favor and what they need and want.
The write of this psalm recognized that God had given him a lot of goodness. He know is asking what he can do for God to return the goodness and favor.
Believers should not be looking at themselves as the world does, thinking that they deserve all of God’s goodness and favor. No one deserves anything good from God. Sin only brings on punishment and death, nothing good.
Yet, despite the sin and what a person deserves, God pours out His love and goodness upon the believer. He is quick to forgive and remove all sins. He is right there to guide and help a person walk through this life.
No matter what a believer does, there is no way He can fully pay the price of his salvation. Yet, the believer can give back to the Lord a partial payment for His goodness.
Believers can give his life to the work of God. He can be and do what God has called him to be and do. Instead of just taking advantage of what God has done, the believer can use it for God’s glory.
Stop and think about all that God has already done for you. This can be overwhelming when you really think about it.
How are you repaying God for what He has done?
Take a moment to think about how you can serve God and be His witness. Think about how you can turn away from all sin and walk in His ways. Think about how you can pass the goodness God has given you on to others.
These are just a few ways you can repay God for His goodness, not to earn it, but out of gratefulness for what He has done for you. All God wants from you is your whole heart and life.
I pray today that you will know what God has done for you; that you will be grateful for what God has done; that you will give your whole heart and life to God; and that you will share with others what God has done for you.