Read: Psalm 119:68, 1 Peter 2:9
“Good” is a term used loosely in our culture. Food is good. Some people are good. Times are good. There are a lot of things that are good. One of the fruits of the Spirit is goodness, but it’s definition is different than how our culture defines it. This week we will define the sixth piece of fruit in our bowl and drill down to what it means and how it is lived out.
The Greek word for goodness is agathosune. It means “uprightness of the heart and eye; goodness for the benefit of others.” It’s easy for me to get goodness and kindness confused. In All About the Holy Spirit by Herbert Lockyerin I found, “kindness is an inward disposition and goodness is the habitual actions in which the disposition shows itself.” Goodness is doing. It is serving. It is an action.
Goodness is the very essence of God’s nature. The essence of who He is. Psalm 33:4-5 says “For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything He does. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.” God clearly loves goodness.
So, let’s go back to the thought of goodness being recognized through actions. A person with a servant's heart is likely one full of goodness. There is a huge difference in doing something because you are required to and doing it because you want to…because you desire to serve others. True servants serve with joy. They never ask “what’s in it for me.” They look for opportunities to serve others. They even serve when no one else is watching because they don’t want or need the “atta boy” or the proverbial pat on the back. They are full of goodness, and they desire to be a blessing.
It is hard to do something for someone with a pure motivation of serving. I have witnessed it first hand, though. I have been to Guatemala on mission trips a few times with my church and have watched as adults and teenagers gave their all to the Guatemalan people. They provided medical help. They went into the city dump where thousands live and distributed food bags. They hugged people. They loved on people. They listened. They demonstrated the kind of goodness that God requires from us.
This same type of self-sacrifice is required of us not just on a mission trip, but every day. This starts with our homes, workplaces, schools, and community. The opposite of goodness is not badness. The opposite of goodness is selfishness. It is hard for me not to be selfish. I can get way too focused on me and what I want. I can be insensitive to others and forget to consider how I can help or serve them. When that happens, I confess it to God and ask Him to fill me with His goodness.
Do you know what? He forgives me and empowers me with His Holy Spirit. What about you…is goodness a part of your life? Ask God to show you opportunities to do good to others. Be willing to step outside of your own agenda and do good to those around you.
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