Goodness. The fruit of the Spirit includes goodness in its list of qualities. Likewise, we use this word to describe many different things we like. In addition, the Bible uses it to describe God. Therefore, let’s examine what goodness is in the Bible.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness. Little Pot is a fruit-bearing vessel created by the potter. It is given the privilege of growing fruit. You can find the full story here. The allegory mirrors the relationship that we have with our creator. We are also vessels created to bear fruit. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is the substance God grows through us when we allow Him to work in our lives. The verses in Galatians describe this fruit with nine words. Therefore, each week we look at a word from the list and what Paul meant when he explained this fruit to the church.
We studied love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness in the previous weeks. This week, we will consider what Paul meant when he labeled the fruit with goodness.
What is Goodness in the Bible?
Google defines goodness as the quality of being morally good or virtuous. We describe many things as being good. It is common to say certain foods taste good or specific scents smell good. We tell our children to “be good” without always explaining what actions we expect from them. The truth is our world defines goodness as actions that benefit ourselves. If we like something, we say it is good. Consequently, we hear phrases such as “Be good to yourself” and “Good for you!”
However, the Bible uses the words good and goodness in the context of the well-being of others. The Greek word for goodness is agathosune, meaning “uprightness of heart and life.” Likewise, the Holy Spirit will give us the power to do things that benefit God and others. We typically live our lives doing what is best for ourselves. However, the fruit of the Spirit puts our selfish desires aside and allows us to act in ways that will help the betterment of God and others. Christ’s life is a perfect example of a life lived with goodness.
Likewise, as Christians, we’ve been taught that no one is good (Psalm 53:1-3 and Romans 3:10). Yet, that is only half of the story. Our lack of being good and doing good is because we allow ourselves to gratify our flesh and not walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). An excellent book that goes into more detail about goodness and, specifically, the Hebrew word TOV is A church called TOV by Scot McKnight. The book is explicitly addressing the culture of our churches today. However, I found part 2 of the book helpful in understanding goodness within the fruit Spirit.
An example of Goodness
God is faithful to give us His goodness when we ask Him. For example, I can think of a recent situation where God gave me the ability to do what was good for someone else. If you know me, you know that nursing is not something I would ever be good at. Caring for the sick and elderly is not something I enjoy. However, last year my father-in-law went from being a healthy, independent man to needing full-time care at the end of his life. My husband and sister-in-law were the only two left to care for him. Likewise, they were grieving and needed help.
I called on God to fill me with His goodness and give me what I would need to care for him during his last days. When the situation began, I felt utterly unqualified. However, God filled me with the love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness that everyone needed during that time, and it was GOOD! Many would say that death is not good. Yet, I know that my father-in-law was a man ready to meet Jesus. His death was a sweet time that was filled with God’s goodness. I share more of that experience here.
The fruit of the Spirit verses
Let’s read some Bible verses about Goodness.
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights. James 1:17
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7
The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. Psalm 145:17
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:15-16
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 2 Peter 1:5-7
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Psalm 37:3
God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14
Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. Proverbs 2:9
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”1 Corinthians 15:33
He gave himself to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:14
Consequently, God’s definition of goodness is more profound than our ideas of what is good. He was willing to humble himself and become a man for us. He gave all of himself, even facing the gruesome death of the cross (Philippians 2:6-11). This sacrificial act is the goodness that His Spirit can grow in us. We can forgive the unforgivable and sacrifice our desires for those of others when we allow God to produce His fruit through us.
The fruit Spirit is goodness.
Love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness can continue to grow when we begin to comprehend the goodness of God.
While God’s Spirit is what will produce this fruit, it requires our surrender and participation. Our lives should cultivate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. However, understanding how to become fruit-bearing vessels is a God-sized calling and one of the most important things we do as followers of Christ. Likewise, I’ve seen how God produces the fruit Spirit, and I’ve explained the process in seven steps. I have used these steps with children, teachers, and parents. It includes the three areas of spiritual, social, and academic growth. In these areas, you’ll learn practical things to do. Consequently, you will be a fruit-bearing vessel.
If you join me on this fruit-bearing journey, I promise we will see how God works in our lives and with others around us. In addition, you’ll receive a short, fruitful Friday email each week. Just type in your email address and name below.
Disclosure: The Amazon links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Go here if you prefer to buy the entire set as a signed copy. Go here if you want to schedule Dawn for a speaking engagement or author visit.