This week I’m continuing a blog series on the fruit of the Spirit. I’m excited about this series and I’m believing God that we continue to be FRUITFUL! So this week let’s talk about The Fruit of the Spirit – Goodness.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.-Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
This week we are going to talk about goodness; being a good person. Growing up, we’ve always been taught to be a good boy or good girl and if we didn’t, well if you’re from my generation, we got our butts whooped! So the motivation for being good was to avoid punishment. Unfortunately, when we become believers we take that same unrenewed and unbiblical belief with us into our relationship with God the Father. The truth is, the gospel isn’t about us being good or God doling out punishment if we aren’t good. The gospel is about living in the Spirit, more specifically an understanding of the fruit of the Spirit. We can’t come up with this fruit on our own. It’s the fruit OF THE SPIRIT. The Spirit of God plants this fruit in us. So in essence, we can’t be good on our own! Some folks think goodness is equal to self-righteousness. The thought is, “If I’m good enough God will bless me with something.” Goodness is implanted into us through the sacrifice and work of Jesus on the cross. So goodness is because of Jesus, not how much sin we can avoid or how many self-righteous checkboxes we can mark off. Yes, we should avoid sin but avoiding sin isn’t for God’s benefit, it’s for ours! Sin has consequence and sometimes we confuse that consequence with punishment, but it’s not the same! We don’t want to see the Old Testament punishment of God, the ground-swallowing-fire-falling-from-heaven punishment of God. In this grace dispensation we live in, we must not try and teach the law with grace. The law of the letter kills but the Spirit brings life!
Goodness takes place in our lives because of Jesus. Out of His work and fruit of the Spirit is how we are good. Let’s look at the greek transliteration of the word “goodness.” Goodness is entry number 5544 in Strong’s concordance (xrēstótēs) pronounced (khray-stot’-ace). It literally means “useful kindness” and refers to meeting real needs, in God’s way, in His timing and fashion. With the believer, goodness is “divine kindness” it is the Spirit-produced goodness which meets the need of others. Being a good person won’t get you to heaven, only Jesus does that, but it can bring heaven to earth.
Being good to those who don’t deserve it is one of the best ways that this fruit can be produced in our lives. Being good to those who are good to you is easy, but not much growth happens there. Being good to those who aren’t? Well now you’re growing some fruit! Let’s give goodness to those who don’t deserve it. Let’s be good to the bad in our lives. I’ve found that most people want to be good but they live in the flesh and react in a negative way. This is why we live in the Spirit! I’ve had many people do bad to me in private and public. How do I respond? I don’t. Well, most of the time I don’t. 😀 I honestly don’t want to give anyone the satisfaction that they have gotten the better of me. The better of me is reserved for those who are better to me! Being good to these people is a challenge but I have found it usually turns the situation for my good.
This week let’s be good. Allow the goodness of God to flow through you and watch how your relationships and life drastically improves.