“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23
We use the word “good” a lot to describe something that meets a particular standard for us. It was a good movie, the food was good, I had a good time…etc. My good may not be the same as your good because we all have different standards for everything. So how can we all have goodness, if the word good means something different to each of us? The Greek word translated “goodness,” agathosune, is defined as “uprightness of heart and life.” Goodness is a way of life. But who sets that Standard?There is no better standard for goodness than the one God gives us in the Bible. Goodness is a commitment to do good not evil. God does no evil therefore He is good and He wants us to be more like Him. Being good helps us to be kind, patient and forgiving to others. How can we develop goodness in our lives?
Goodness Comes From God
We are not naturally good, naturally we are full of sin. By ourselves we can never be good, that’s why God sent Jesus to die for us. Jesus dying for our sins, cleared our records and put us in right standing with God. Before Jesus people had only the law which was impossible to obey 100%. Grace did away with the law allowing nothing to stand between us and God. This relationship with Him is the first step to developing not just goodness, but all of the fruits of the spirit. And to be more like God we have to spend more time with Him. Ever had a friend or family member that you spent a lot of time with and suddenly you found your self doing and saying the same things as them? They were rubbing off on you. The same happens when we spend a lot of time with God, you will begin to develop goodness from growing closer to God. Your heart changes, your thoughts change, eventually you change! You can not have good without God because just like James 1:17 says, whatever is good comes from God.
“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” James 1:17
Goodness = Action
Goodness requires practice, practice comes through action. We can not develop goodness by simply not doing evil. We have to replace it with good. This again I believe comes from knowing God better. When we love someone we want to do good things for them the same comes from our relationship with God. Good works are not a requirement for love or salvation but rather something we do because we love God and want to share that love with others. Nothing can make God love you any more of less but your good works do not go unnoticed. God will greatly bless those who serve Him by serving others. This includes doing good to everyone, if we only do good to those are who good to us we are merely returning a favor. Doing good and not getting anything in return or doing good to someone who is not kind can be much more challenging. But God sees your efforts and those efforts develop goodness in your life.
“Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.” 3 John 1:11
Do Not Grow Weary
Being a Christian is not always easy. Sometimes is feels like the whole world is against you, we are often mocked by the people around us, the media, etc. People complicate the gospel in the church, we feel condemned or unworthy, time and time again the gospel is twisted and distorted by man. It is easy to feel down, to feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel and for some people it sometimes feels easier to just walk away. But I want to encourage you dear friends not to give up, God has not forgotten us. Life may never get easier here on this earth, we might never see the results of our good work. But do not give up, our reward is heaven. Continue to do good, you are making a difference even it feels like you are not. Goodness is planted with God, grown with action and ripens by determination! You have got this, you are not alone, and in due time you will see the results of doing good, if not here then with our Father in heaven.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” Galatians 6:9-10
Lots of Love,