The Fruit of the Spirit
by Matt Ferreira
…the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)
The Fruit of the Spirit is a biblical phrase that summarises the nine characteristics of a person who lives with the Holy Spirit. This week we are looking at goodness.
When we grow up, we are often told to “be good.” Maybe this looked like helping around the house or supporting family and friends. The true meaning of the word “goodness” is commonly overlooked though. Goodness is action; it isn’t something that we only do for the sake of being pleasant. When we strive to be good for our own benefit, then that is not true goodness. Seeking the best for others and obeying God’s commandments in the Bible result in true goodness, where our actions come from a place of selflessness and putting the needs of others before our own.
This may sound familiar. The life of Jesus Christ is the perfect example of goodness, as He died on the cross for the sins of each one of us to give us the gift of eternal life. His life, ministry and sacrifice is an example of God’s goodness towards mankind. That is why the word “Gospel” means “Good News.” Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, talks about the goodness of Jesus in the book of Acts: “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and… He went around doing good and healing all… because God was with Him (10:38). Additionally, Jesus is called the “Good Shepherd” in the Bible, because He laid down His life for His sheep.
We are called to live in a way that reflects the character of Christ by being good. It is not about recognition from others. Often, it is the small acts of goodness throughout our day that mean the most to those around us. While it may seem like no one notices, God does. Ultimately, when we show goodness, we bring glory to God’s Name.