Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23, NIV
Some people confuse goodness with kindness, but they are separate attributes of the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus answered the man who called Him good teacher, “Why do you call me good?” Now, obviously Jesus was good. He was sinless, but He was asking a deeper spiritual question. The man thought works determined salvation, and Jesus wanted to point out the flaw in looking at things as good and bad, and instead, to look at God’s grace given for salvation.
Still, Jesus commended goodness. He told the people, “if you love me, you will obey what I command.” Being good is basically living a moral, pure life, striving to please God. It is obedience to the commands of God.
How are you doing living out this part of the fruit of the Spirit God gave you at salvation? Are you striving everyday to rid your life of sin? Are you attempting to comply with God’s moral and holy laws? What sin, even the private sins, have you held on to for too long? Do you want to please Him with your actions?
I try not to be preachy to my Sunday School class about social behaviors. I would love to tell them what can be gained by giving up the sinful desires of their youth, but I want them to do it out of love, and not out of a sense of guilt. Still, I know that as you and I begin to act more like Christ in the world, we will have a greater and deeper impact on the Kingdom of God. People will see our “good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.”
The fruit of the Spirit brings the opportunity for “goodness” even in the lives of sinners like us. May we strive to be found faithful in displaying goodness.