“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” (Galatians 5:22, NIV).”
Goodness is the quality in a person who is ruled by and aims at what is good. It is the propensity both to will and to do what is good. Goodness speaks of goodness in character and actions. Good is basically the absence of defect or flaw and presence of complete wholeness.
Our example and model of goodness is of course the Lord. Jesus was once called “good teacher” (Mark 10:17-18) to which he replied “no one is good except God alone.” But God has made a way through the ministry of the Holy Spirit to develop the goodness in his people. In this week’s article I want to share some key principles that foster the development of the fruit of goodness.
First, we need to learn the difference between good and evil. Isaiah 5:20, NCV says, “How terrible it will be for people who call good things bad and bad things good, who think darkness is light and light is darkness, who think sour is sweet and sweet is sour.” We are living in a cultural environment in this country where evil is accepted and good is lampooned. The believer must be careful not to buy into this distortion of reality.
Second, we need to realize that no one is good without God: “all have turned from God; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not even one!” (Psalm 14:3, NLT). The truth is, we are all natural born sinners. Any good in our lives is the result of the grace of God. To become good in any measure, we must have a fundamental change in our nature. This is only accomplished through faith in Jesus Christ and the life changing power in his shed blood.
Third, we need to fill our heart with good things. Everyday we have a choice what to put in our hearts through our eye gate, mouth gate, and ear gate. Psalm 119:9-11, NCV gives great insight into living pure and good lives in a dirty world: “How can a young man person live a pure life: By obeying your word.” If we allow evil in, it should be no surprise when evil comes out. “The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his evil storehouse flings forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35, AMP). Let the words of D.L. Moody encourage you to fill your heart with what is wholesome: “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.”
Fourth, we need to imitate the example of our heavenly Father. God is good and what he does is good (Psalm 119:68, NIV). Psalm 34:8, KJV declares the fundamental goodness of God: “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” God’s nature, behavior, decisions, actions, and motives are good all the time. God does not and will not do anything that he has revealed to man is morally wrong. Paul declared, “Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children” (Ephesians 5:1, NIV).
Finally, we should develop the habit of doing what is good daily. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” God has ordained, appointed, and anointed his people to do what is good. He planned for us to do good all the days of our lives-that is to be consistently good. Remember that God’s grace is available to help us develop the habit of doing good: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8, KJV).