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 love in action. Click To Tweet
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.”
God intends that the commandments be our guideposts for life. Click To Tweet
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.”
Fruits of the Spirit Bible Study by Kathy Howard
Crosswalk – What are the Fruits of the Spirit
18 thoughts on “Fruits of Kindness and Goodness”
I love how you divide this up and explain it. Especially kindness. As an introvert who is often lost in thought and/or just plain oblivious, my face doesn’t always look ‘kind’. People who don’t know me sometimes think I’m standoffish or stuck up and that can get discouraging. I laughed when you listed ‘kind face’. But explaining that kindness as ‘love in action’ is so profound and freeing and wonderful. I may never have a ‘kind’ face but I can display kindness.
Hi Stephanie, I can relate to you in so much of what you said. We can all display kindness no matter who we are. Thanks for commenting
What a fascinating question – are the fruits of the Spirit passive or proactive qualities or both
The Spirit is not passive no more light is. So why would the qualities be? Wow.
That has given me new inspiration
Thanks Bob. I appreciate your comments
As always it is a pleasure to read your series on the Fruits of the Spirit. It is good to ponder on the meaning of the words that represent those fruits. Kindness and Goodness are such common words until we stop and ponder on them. Thank you for encouraging me to do that.
Thanks Galina and God bless
Wonderful post, Yvonne! I love to hear the fruits of the Spirit stated one by one. Even the sound of these words brings a sense of peace and “God-ness” as you described in this article. I am really being encouraged by your elaboration on each of the words to help take in the fullness of each beautiful quality. I also never considered how much the 10 Commandments cover areas of kindness and goodness. Kindness and goodness. Something we all love to receive, but can sometimes be hard to give. Lord, enlarge my heart and keep me close to Christ, that I may bear your beautiful fruit. God bless!
Thanks Melissa. I really appreciate your thoughts on the post. God bless.
Kindness is love in action. This Is so good. We can talk about love and talk about being loving but it is the action that the world sees. They will know us by our love when they see our kindness.
Amen Elaine and thanks for commenting
Another great and reflective message on fruit, Yvonne. I love how you said some call goodness, Godness. So true!!!!
I particularly appreciate your emphasis on the need for our kindness to be shown in action. What good is it if I limit my kindness to thoughts and never demonstrate this? A kind word, sacrifice of time, etc. Great challenge here!
Amen and thanks Mary
Kindness in action = sacrifice of time…so true! That hits where it hurts when it feels as though we never have enough time. Well said.
I don’t think we think much about these qualities, but they are so essential in how we live our lives and in how we interact with one another. The presence of kindness in a marriage or within a family, for instance, can make or break it. A spouse who is not kind can quickly destroy a marriage. Children who are not treated kindly don’t learn to be kind. Thereby providing a harsher environment for the next generation.
Likewise, the presence or the absence of both kindness and goodness can make or break a society. When these qualities decrease in number, we are in bad shape, crime increases, and selfishness abounds. This is a fantastic definition for goodness: “deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good.” Think of what our society and our families would look like if more of us chose to live in this way. How might our actions impact others?
Great points Melinda. Amazing how they are so important in everything we do. Thanks for commenting
I’m not saying anything the others haven’t already said better, but your definition of kindness as love in action is so good. It’s right. God demonstrates his love for us over and over. As if sending Jesus weren’t enough he forgives my sins. As if forgiveness weren’t enough, he teaches me patiently how to live. God’s kindness has historically been swallowed up by his holiness from the way the Church has behaved. But God forever uses kindness to reconcile us to him. Great post.
Thanks Chip, I really appreciate your thoughts and comments. God bless