Welcome to Day 12 of our 3M Fast. Today, our Devotional will focus on the Fruit of “GOODNESS” as recorded in Galatians 5:22-23.
“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.”
It appears on the outset that the ingredient, “Goodness” is very much similar to the Fruit of “Kindness.” Goodness and Kindness are complementary aspects of the fruit of the Spirit. Without kindness, goodness becomes harsh and self-righteous. Without goodness, kindness becomes indulgent tolerance. Though they are complementary, they are extremely different. Goodness is more about moral behavior; excellence of character; an action. Kindness on the other hand, is about “Active Helpfulness” and attitude. Goodness relates directly to morality. Goodness is virtue and holiness in action. It results in a life characterized by deeds motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. Goodness is a moral characteristic of a spirit-filled person. The word “goodness” translated in the Greek is “Agathosune,” which is defined as “uprightness of heart and life.” It’s goodness for the benefit of others; not goodness simply for the sake of being virtuous. It’s important to also note that “Agathosune” does not spare sharpness and rebuke to cause good to others. A common definition of “goodness” adds the aspect of rebuke and discipline to it. Confronting someone about a sin demonstrates goodness, but so do giving to the poor, visiting the sick, clothing the naked, and feeding the hungry.
Expressions of goodness are as varied as the Spirit is creative. So someone with “Agathosune” will selflessly act on behalf of others. Goodness is doing what is right, even when it isn’t easy to do. We all know the difference between doing the right thing and the wrong thing, so putting goodness into action is choosing to do the right thing no matter what. Even when no one is looking and watching you do the right thing. Even when the right thing takes longer to do. Even when the right thing isn’t the fun thing to do. Even when the right thing isn’t easy and takes a lot of bravery and strength. When we choose to do the right thing in all of these areas, that’s goodness! Goodness is a choice and an action. Goodness is not clinging to your rights, but to what is right. To show goodness, you have to decide to be good and do the right thing on purpose.
Goodness can often be seen in our actions, but our heart also has to be pure. The goodness of Christ has to be demonstrated in our lives every day. Psalm 23 verse 6 (KJV) says,
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 23:6 (KJV)
God calls us to be filled with goodness from the inside out, being holy in what we do and say because believers should have a heart that seeks goodness. We are not to just do works, because doing good works without a good heart is an exercise of futility. The “goodness” described as a fruit of the Spirit is not merely moral behavior, but an excellence of character. This goodness is only possible through God’s grace and mercy.
Let me ask you. Is the “good” you do based on God’s standards or society’s standards and or standards you’ve created? Would God call what you are currently involved in “good?” What evidence from the Bible supports your answer?