Hi friends! Today we consider the next fruit of the spirit - goodness. Good is a difficult word to define narrowly. Good could mean something grand and cosmic about the morality of "good" actions vs "bad" actions or it could be referring to the best taco you've ever eaten or an informal response to the common question of "how are you?" Why, good, of course! But what about goodness? What comes to mind for you when you hear that word? When I think of goodness I immediately think of the Christmas carol about Santa watching out for us and as such we should be "good for goodness sake." That distinction between "good" and "goodness" is something I'll talk about a little more below.
For now, I want you to re-read the same scripture from yesterday about what Paul is writing as the fruits of the spirit and jot down your own assumptions for what "good" and "goodness" mean.
Scripture to Read
Psalm 23 (specifically hone in on verse 6 and consider how that changes the psalm for you)
Questions to Consider
What is the difference between "good" and "goodness" for you? How has scripture influenced that, if at all?
How does Bible study, worship, or other time with God help align you towards goodness?
Like a cell phone battery do you feel as if goodness fills and depletes? What fills it for you? What depletes it?
- Just Some Thoughts -
What is Goodness?
As the Holy Spirit works in our lives, our character is transformed. In the areas of our lives where we once held onto sin, which reflects our human nature, we can now possess the fruits of the Spirit and reflect God’s character.
One of the fruits of the Spirit is goodness. So, what does this mean, and how can it be applied to our lives?
Growing up, we were often told to “be good.” Maybe this looked like helping your mom with the household chores or getting good grades in school. I think the true meaning of the word “goodness” is commonly overlooked, though. Goodness is action; it’s not something we do only for the sake of being virtuous. When we strive to be “good” only for our own benefit, it is not truly goodness that we possess. In Greek, the word goodness, “agathosune,” means “an uprightness of heart and life”
Goodness & the Life of Jesus Christ
When we act out of true goodness of the heart and reflect the fruit of the Spirit, we are obedient to God’s commandments and seek the benefit of others. Our actions come from a place of selflessness, and we place the needs of others before our own.
Does this sound familiar?
The life of Jesus Christ is the perfect example of goodness, as He died on the cross for the sins of humanity in order to give us the gift of eternal life. His ministry and sacrifice is an example of God’s goodness toward mankind. After all, the term “gospel” means “good news.”
Peter, a disciple of Jesus, talks about the goodness of Jesus’ ministry in Acts 10:38: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” In addition, Jesus is called the “good shepherd” in Scripture, because He laid down His life for His sheep.
We are called as Christians to live in a way that reflects the character of Christ. Matthew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Goodness is not about doing elaborate things to gain recognition. Oftentimes, it is the small acts of goodness we do throughout our day that mean the most to those around us.
Is your friend having a bad day? Write them a note to let them know how much you care about them. Is someone putting you down? Pray for them.
It is in these acts of goodness that we reflect Christ’s character and possess the fruit of the Spirit. While it may seem like no one notices, God does. Ultimately, when we show goodness, we bring glory to God’s name.
Praying the Hymns
Today we will consider one of the best hymns about God's goodness (opinion, of course) How Great Thou Art. This version is slightly different as its a choral rendition but I found it really moving! I hope you feel blessed as you consider how good Christ is for us!