The Fruit of the Spirit – Goodness

Photo by Darrell Gough

Growing up we may have heard our parents admonish, ‘Be Good’. And recurring in our everyday conversations is the word, good , from describing how our day has been, to something we ate, someone we know or time spent on something. And in doing so, good can be a term that can be used to depict something between short of great and better than average.

Probably tainted with what the world defines as good, nestled right in the midst of all the other virtues of the fruit of the spirit, sometimes goodness can seem a little less weighty.

The true value of the spiritual fruit of goodness comes from understanding that the standard of goodness is marked by the integrity of the character of God. His character is unmatched, perfect, pure and holy. As Ps 119:68 says “God is good and does Good.”

Goodness of God

Jesus says in Mark 10:18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.”

When reading this verse, we can wonder why Jesus would not readily accept being called good, after all he is Jesus, but in doing so let us not miss out on the fact that Jesus gives us a clear pointer to what should be our definition of good and that is God alone.

God’s goodness is the source of all the goodness in the world. Scripture tells us in many places that goodness is the essence of who God is.

Good and upright is the Lord (Ps 28:5)

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. (Ps. 86:5)

For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations. (Ps. 100:5)

Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Ps. 106:1)

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Ps. 107:1)

Christ – God’s goodness in person and our example

Titus 3:4-5 says “When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy.” His goodness and kindness is manifested in Christ, who atoned for our sins. The cross was the greatest demonstration of His goodness, kindness and love for us. He was obedient to death for us and to God.

As we grow in Christ we are called to be more like Jesus and in doing so we are to reflect more of His goodness in our lives. And it is springs from the work of the spirit in us, characterised by Godly love and righteousness, seeking the good of others and for the Joy of the Lord. 

3 John 1:11 says “Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.”

Christ in us enables us to not act out our selfish sinful nature but set aside those qualities and reflect the nature of God in us. We cannot do any good on our own, our own acts may seem good but scripture reminds us that our acts of righteousness are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

In Acts 10:38 we read Peter talk about the goodness of Jesus’s ministry “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.”

Jesus, even though fully God, when he came as man, surrendered to God. He went around doing good by being empowered by the Holy spirit and God was with Him.

How can we reflect any goodness if our hearts are not surrendered to the Lord?  As our divine potter keeps shaping us, the clay, that is us, has to remain as plaint as possible to be able to be formed into that which our divine potter intends to. And that pliancy involves living a life of surrender and obedience to God.   

Purposed for Good works

Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

He created us for good works and Titus 2:8 tells us that we are to devote ourselves to doing good works.

Goodness is more than a virtue, it is action. God’s goodness poured out in His actions and we are to reflect His goodness in the same manner. I think we can glaze over what scripture says about devoting ourselves to doing good works. Being devoted to something means being focused on that particular thing almost exclusively.  It means being faithful and steadfast to that which we are devoted to. Devoting oneself entails pursuing it, making an effort because our nature might not want to extend good works to every person that God calls us to. And devoted means it is important enough a reason to you. If it matters to God it should matter to us.

In the Parable of The Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37, although the term good was not used in the text except in the title, we cannot deny that the actions of the Samaritan were genuine, helpful and therefore good.  He helped the hurt man above and beyond what was expected and he did it without expecting anything in return. What he did was selfless and seeking the benefit of only the man who received his help. And Jesus says at the end of the parable, ‘Go and do likewise’

Take a moment and reflect on these questions?

  • How are you demonstrating His goodness to those around you?
  • Is the good you do, according to His standard or the world’s?
  • Will you with equal zeal do good if it goes unnoticed?

As the spiritual fruit of goodness manifests in the life of a Christ follower, it serves as a powerful means for others to experience and know about Christ’s work in our lives.  

Mathew 5:16 says “Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.”

Goodness manifested in actions, is not only about big or obvious acts. It is the small things we can do, being there for a friend, listening to someone, praying for them or even praying for someone who does not know you are doing it. No one may notice these small acts, but God does and we do it for Him and bring glory to His name.

It is through God alone we can show any goodness at all and it is for Him that we do good works, to bring Him glory and fulfill our kingdom purpose.

God Bless.

30 thoughts on “The Fruit of the Spirit – Goodness

Add yours

  1. As I read this, I thought of the phrase we often hear and say as Christians, “God is good!” But your post reminded me that we have a responsibility to reflect that goodness to those around us. Our actions should cause people to want to know more about the goodness of the God we serve. And as you mentioned, all we do should be done for His glory and not to bring attention to ourselves. Thank you Manu.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, we often hear God is good, which is absolutely true but in saying that often I feel it becomes less significant or at least the gravity of His goodness somehow does not always sink in. And being recipients of His goodness I think we should never lose the awe of the good we receive from him and therefore should reflect.
      Thank you Dawn 💙🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post really made me think! I especially love what you mentioned about devoting ourselves to doing good work. As you said, this means “being focused … being faithful and steadfast … pursuing it, making an effort.” Those points really hit home. And the three questions you asked also made me pause and ponder. Sometimes in our day-to-day life, we just wing it. We do whatever we need to make it through another day. We go through the motions. But this post has helped me to see that we need to be more intentional with our actions. And we have to also remember that our goodness comes from God alone. Thank you for this insightful post, my friend! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I spent time on this post, I was convicted about being devoted to good works too. I thought to myself, I do it if it does not push me out of my comfort zone too much or an opportunity staring right in my face but am I being faithful, steadfast, pursuing and making an effort- No.
      may we remember to be devoted to doing good works.
      Thank you dear friend 🤗💙🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “God’s goodness is the source of all the goodness in the world.” Amen to this, Manu! You make a great point that “goodness is more than a virtue, it is action.” I would say that all the Fruits of the Spirit are more than just virtues, they are actions! I never thought of that before until right now, thank You God for Manu! I also agree that Christians can base their view of goodness on the world rather than God’s. And as we know the subjective nature of goodness in the world is evil. (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil is what I mean by that thought.) I love how you mention Titus 3 because in this chapter we are admonished to good three times, even if that means it is unnoticed like you last question calls us to ponder. I pray to be good to people because God has been good to me!

    Every week Manu I look forward to your posts, whether it be a recipe or a biblical post. Your writing is truly a gift from God and I am so very thankful for how much I have been blessed by you this year! Love, hugs and blessings!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Mandy, all the fruit of the spirit are more than just virtues, they are actions.
      Yes, we can base our view of goodness on the world’s standard rather than God’s and usually not intentionally but that just happens so we have to shift that back to where it rightly should be and that is God’s standard.
      Mandy, thank you for your beautiful words to me, they mean a lot and encourage me so much. You are a blessing to me too sister.
      Hugs and blessings 🤗💙

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amen! Good works for God through the power of His Holy Spirit! It sure is amazing how our perspective changes when we recognize His goodness, especially in hard times. Speaking of which, have you heard the song “I Know” by Big Daddy Weave? It became my anthem during 2020. I hope you have a good weekend, Manu! God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for your thought provoking questions. I definitely need to ask myself those every day. Doing good that goes unnoticed can be a challenge for our egos in a ‘look at me’ social media world. As Christians we know our audience is first and foremost, God. That’s all that really matters. Thank you for the reminder. Lord bless and keep you Manu!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too Meghan. Yes, it can be a challenge to do good if it goes unnoticed especially if that is to be the case always, I wonder if we would do good with equal eagerness.
      Thank you Meghan.
      Blessings to you too 🌺💙

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Goodness is a wonderful fruit of the Spirit, a manifestation of God’s goodness in our lives. God is the source and power behind all true goodness, kindness, forgiveness, and mercy. We reflect His goodness in our actions; by being His hands and feet, bringing glory to His name.
    Manu, a thorough and thoughtful post on God’s goodness; and how we can share His goodness by living, as Christ lived. May we remember; to always reflect His love and goodness to others.💖✨🌺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we do indeed reflect His actions by being His hands and feet and I pray that we always remain aware of that as we go about our days.
      Thank you so much Jeanne 🤗🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good morning sir. Thank you so much for sharing this. As I read, I began to connect the dots. We are made in God’s image and likeness, and we have Jesus to learn from and the HolySpirit to guide us to become all that the Father is. If we really think about it, we’d realized that we actually have not selfish nature because the nature of the earth is one of those things we are born and saw, and because we grew up around it, some of it may have rubbed off on us, but when we hone in the spiritual, Godly nature which we truly are created in, it’s a different culture altogether. I love the HolySpirit! And I am for God!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Yes, when the Holy Spirit resides within us we begin to reflect Christ and the more we walk in His path, the more we reflect His nature.
      Thank you again.
      Manu.

      Like

      1. Weh!!! Your words just strike me differently. I wish I could print your devotionals and keep. Such deep masterpiece.. may our good not be defined by the standards of the world. Oh yes that’s my prayer and yoh! THIS HAS TO BE INTENTIONAL . It requires work🧰

        Liked by 1 person

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