How am I doing with being selfless on behalf of others? It is a pretty telling question if I answer it honestly.
Goodness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit of God. Goodness is the quality of being or doing good. In the fruits of the Spirit, I think I have to see them in tandem. Do I have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? If so, I probably also have goodness.
Paul lists the “fruit of the Spirit”. “Fruit,” here, means “beneficial results,” the good things that come from the Spirit’s indwelling. As the Holy Spirit works in my life, my character changes. Where I had harbored selfishness, cruelty, rebelliousness, and spite, I now possess love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Everything in the list reflects the character of God, and goodness is one that relates directly to morality.
Goodness is virtue and holiness in action. It results in a life characterized by deeds motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. It’s a moral characteristic of a Spirit-filled person. The Greek word translated “goodness,” agathosune, is defined as “uprightness of heart and life.” Agathosune is goodness for the benefit of others, not goodness simply for the sake of being virtuous.
Jesus clearly calls us to do good works! We start with the words of Jesus. When called good by the “rich young ruler”, Jesus (the Son of God) said “Why do you call me good? No one is good—except God alone.” We start with that as our premise. Left to our own devices, we are not good. In the new life in Jesus, we are called on to do good. If we live in the power of the Holy Spirit, that will bear fruit and we will do good.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” ~Jesus | Matthew 5:17
God is pleased with the good works of his people.
Goodness is not a quality I can manufacture on my own. In letting the Holy Spirit control me, I am blessed with the fruit of goodness. As others see our good works, they will praise our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).James 1:17 says,“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” This certainly includes a life characterized by goodness.
- Hebrews 13:16 (NASB) — And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
- 1 Peter 2:20 (NASB) — For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
- 1 Peter 2:15 (NASB) — For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
- 1 Peter 3:17 (NASB) — For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.