Goodness is the sixth Fruit of the Spirit but there’s more to goodness than you might think at first glance.
BibleStudyTools.com says this about goodness:
“Goodness in man is not a mere passive quality, but the deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good.”
Goodness is an action. It is a deliberate choice to choose good over evil. It is not passive in any way.
Barnes Notes on the Bible also defines it “in the sense of beneficence, or a disposition to do good to others. The sense is, that a Christian must be a good man.”
Goodness is a gift from God with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. However, it is also a conscious choice to be good to others as it is to show love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness and the other fruit of the Spirit.
Recently, for example, my husband saw an older neighbor in need of an air conditioner. His had quit working. Now, we living on the Gulf Coast and at the moment it’s in the 90’s with high humidity. We are sitting here in the comfort of our Motorhome with a working air conditioner. It bothered my husband so much that he couldn’t sleep at night knowing that our neighbor might suffer heat stroke or something worse in this heat. So, he decided to do something about it and helped him get a new air conditioner and put it in for him.
If he had ignored the problem something bad could have happened to this man through not acting- through his act of omission. He may not have been doing anything actively wrong but he wouldn’t be showing goodness either.
It isn’t just our conscious acts of wrongdoing- lying, stealing, etc. that are sinful. It is not helping someone or doing something when we know there is a need- wrong by the act of omission.
How many times a day, how many times a week, do we see someone with a need and choose to ignore it because it’s inconvenient or because it might cost us something?
Every day, we have the opportunity to show goodness as well as gentleness, love, etc. to people around us but we choose to put the blinders on. Our world is very self- involved right now. We are all about having our 15 minutes of fame on social media, at the workplace, etc.
The true King, Jesus Christ, however, was the servant of all. He was someone people wanted to be around. He exuded the fruit of the Spirit to us all while He walked the earth. He was the embodiment of love, joy, and peace. He showed his followers patience, gentleness and goodness. In His life here on Earth, He was faithful, meek and self-controlled.
God wants to express His goodness through us. Through the fruit of Spirit which comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:11 MEV, Paul says,
“Therefore we always pray for you that our God would count you worthy of His calling and with power fulfill all your good desires and works done by faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
I think that it is time for the Body of Christ to show the world who Jesus really is- not just with our words but with our actions. It’s a shame that often times, our lives as Christians aren’t any different than those of the rest of the world.
Let’s start opening our eyes and our hearts to the needs around us that we see every day. Let’s show the fruit of the spirit- goodness and the others, love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control. Let’s start being the light of God to this dark world.