Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Here we are on week four of the study of the fruits of the Spirits. I hope you have gained some new knowledge on the subject. Today we will look at the fruits of Kindness and Goodness. These seem so simple that most people have an understanding of both of these terms. But, does God have something different for us in their meanings?
Psalm 27:13 “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
The dictionary defines kindness as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate,” or “a kind act.” These definitions are expansive and open to interpretation in many forms. For example; we can be kind to puppies; we can share a kind word with a stranger, or we can have a kind face. We find acts of kindness all around us, but kindness is not an attribute present in all people. I think everyone wants to be kind, but the trait often becomes lost among all of our busyness. What does God mean when He calls us to be kind?
Kindness is an attribute of God. God treats all He created with kindness even when we rebel against Him. God longs for all of His creation to be with Him forever in eternity in spite of all the sins we have committed. God models the example of this fruit for us to follow. So often, greed seems to keep us from living out this gift. We want to keep our riches to ourselves. But, Luke 3:11 provides an example of how we should live out this kindness, “John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” Kindness shares with those in need. It cares for the hungry, and helps the oppressed. Kindness is love in action.
Goodness is another fruit of the Spirit. Sometimes the trait can be called Godness. The dictionary definition of goodness doesn’t offer us much help, “the quality of being good.” The dictionary does not go into depth on what make up the qualities of being good. From the website www.Biblestudytools.com, we find this Biblical definition for goodness; “Goodness in man is not a mere passive quality, but the deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good.” Possessing this fruit means we chose good over evil. Something we all strive to do good, but we continuously fall short.
Ephesians 5:9 “(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)”
Now, back to the qualities of goodness. I think the best example of how to display goodness to the people around us comes from Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20:
1 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
2 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath.”
3 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”
4 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. “
5 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
6 “You shall not murder.”
7 “You shall not commit adultery.”
8 “You shall not steal.”
9 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”
10 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Keeping these commandments put us on the path towards goodness as seen by God. The website “Beyond Today” explains it this way; “God summarizes His standards of goodness in the Ten Commandments. Psalm 119:172 tells us that “all Your commandments are righteousness.” God intends that they be our guideposts for life.”
Kindness and goodness together show us how to interact with the world around us so that the light of Christ can draw people towards God. All of us want these qualities in our life, but they take effort since they don’t come naturally to us in our sinful state. These gifts need actions to show them visible in our lives. We need more acts of kindness and acts of goodness to reach those around us as the hands and feet of Christ. Come back next week as we look at the final two fruits of gentleness and self-control.
Yvonne – #blogger, #speaker, and #author
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”