But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.~Galatians 5:22-23a CSB
What is goodness? We know it is a fruit of the Spirit. But what does it look like?
We see goodness in the nurse who, in the midst of her busy schedule, risks losing her job to kneel by the bed of a dying patient to inquire whether she is a child of God and, finding that she is not, leads her in prayer to accept His free gift of salvation.
We see goodness in the man who endangers his life, as he stops to change someone’s tire by the side of a busy interstate highway, with speeding vehicles passing by just inches away.
We see goodness in a child who breaks his brownie into two pieces, so he can take half of the brownie home to his little sister, thereby choosing to share with her instead of eating it all himself.
As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, He wants us to grow in goodness, so we can become more like Him. Jesus was fully human but, unlike us, He never sinned. We can ask Him to help us overcome our natural inclination to sin, so we can live a life of gentleness, goodness, and faithfulness.
God’s goodness leads us to repentance. His goodness leads us to salvation. When the fruit of goodness is operating in a believer, God can use it to draw unbelievers to Him. That is the reason why it is important for Christians to live in a way which attracts others to Jesus Christ. When unbelievers witness God’s goodness in action, they often want His goodness in their lives.
Charles Spurgeon was a preacher and writer who lived during the nineteenth century. While writing a commentary about Psalm 46, he said that God is not good simply because He makes good things happen in our life or that He will protect us in the storms we experience, but that He is good because He comes closer to us than any storm ever could. This is why we can know for certain that God is good. In life’s hardest moments, He is here with us. He never quits, and He will never let go of us.
The following verses help us to understand the significance of goodness in our lives. As believers we know God wants only good for us. I encourage you to memorize one or more of these verses or to write them on sticky notes or index cards to place nearby in order to remind you of the goodness of God.
Psalm 23:6 NIV: Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (We can live out the fruit of goodness with confidence that we will dwell with Him forever.)
Galatians 6:10 ESV: So then, as we have opportunity, let us to do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (We know God wants us to do good to others, especially to fellow believers.)
Ephesians 5:8-9 CEB: Light produces fruit that consists of every sort of goodness, justice, and truth. (The light Jesus gives us will produce only good things in our lives.)
Psalm 27:13 RSV: I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. (We can see the Lord’s goodness even here on earth, as we will see His goodness in Heaven.)
Romans 12:21 ESV: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (We can overcome evil by good thoughts and deeds.)
Psalm 145:9 NLT: The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. (We know that God is good and shows compassion to us and to all creation.)
Ephesians 2:10 NIV: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (We are His, created in Jesus Christ to do good works, which God has prepared for us to accomplish.)
Psalm 34:8 CEB: Taste and see how good the LORD is! The one who takes refuge in him is truly happy! (As we learn how good the Lord is, we can know happiness when we take refuge in Him.)
Romans 12:2 NASB: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds by not going along with others down destructive paths. Instead, we can learn the will of God and know how good and perfect His will is for us.)
Psalm 107:1 CEB: Give thanks to the LORD because he is good, because his faithful love lasts forever! (We can give thanks to the Lord, because He loves us with an everlasting love.)
Share how God has shown His extraordinary goodness to you.
Father God, reveal Your great goodness to me, and show me how to share Your goodness with others as Jesus did when He lived on earth.
In the wonderful name of Jesus. Amen.
Copyright 2020: The Fruit of Goodness: Evelyn Mason Wells: All Rights Reserved