Candy blogs: The Fruit of the Spirit is … goodness. In the Greek this word means benevolence, active good. Goodness is character energized, expressing itself in benevolence, active good. Different from an attitude like kindness, goodness is active … action. Out of gratefulness for the kindness God tenders toward us, we are called to DO some kingdom good.
God’s kindness toward us stems from grace. Grace because without Jesus, by His death, paying the penalty of sin for us we could only experience God’s wrath. With the penalty of sin out of the way, grace flows freely. God’s kindness inspires Him to care for and nurture us. These are actions toward us … God’s goodness.
God entrusts and equips us with gifts to do good for others. Our gifts are given to benefit those He loves and to glorify Himself.
BEFORE THE KINDNESS OF GOD … 3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
AFTER THE KINDNESS OF GOD …4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. Titus 3:3-8
Our culture encourages self-absorption, ever increasing extreme activities and entertainment to please ourselves, spending our time and money selfishly. We cling to what is “mine”.
Beth Moore used the following in part of her definition of goodness:
Goodness does not spare sharpness and rebuke to cause good in others. A person may display his goodness, his zeal for goodness and truth, in rebuking, correcting or chastening.” She goes on to say that the purpose of this quality of the Fruit of the Spirit is to do or bring that which is most beneficial, whether or not it is that which is most popular, fun, easy or pleasant. Speaking truth to bring about good can be difficult to say and even harder to receive. But a tenderhearted attitude of kindness provides the spoonful of sugar for those awkward yet necessary times.
Beth asks, “Can you think of a time when you were either the object of kindness and goodness through a loving rebuke or the vessel of such kindness and goodness to another? Did good come from the confrontation?” I remember a wise mentor rebuking me as a young leader and teen Sunday School teacher. My teaching and leadership skills were raw and arrogant and abrasive. She knew this wasn’t my intention and saw the potential in me. In a spirit of kindness, she extended goodness to me by showing me how I appeared to others. It was beneficial to me to see the truth about myself. The change it brought has been beneficial to many others.
God’s word says not to grow weary of doing good. Share with others what you’ve been entrusted with. Spend yourself doing good.