“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)
As we continue our series on Expressing the Fruit of the Spirit at Work, let’s take a fresh look at GOODNESS. Goodness deliberately falls between faithfulness and kindness, as it is another of His characteristics which is intermingled in how it is expressed by both God, and us, His daughters.
GOODNESS is defined by the Oxford Languages Dictionary as both:
the quality of being morally good or virtuous, as well as
the nourishing element of food.
We can all agree that it is hard to have a great output when you have a reduced or limited input.
If we are to be imitators of God’s character, then we need to demonstrate being morally good wherever we are:
“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in GOODNESS and truth.” (Exodus 34:6 KJV)
If we are God’s people, Scripture points out how we need to be nourishing ourselves upon His Word, as the second definition of GOODNESS implies.
“The good people taste Your goodness.” (Psalm 18:25)
“...tasted the goodness of the Word of God.” (Hebrews 6:5)
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
By studying His Word, we are consuming the goodness the Word contains into our hearts and minds, so we are then able to display this God-given goodness to those around us - whether family, friends, coworkers, or clients.
“Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered Himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.” (Titus 2:11-14 MSG)
This goodness we receive in Christ shows just how impactful we are to be as His children, regardless of whom we encounter. This can be seen so visibly in the workplace during sudden stressful and unexpected situations.
“Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.” (Romans 12:20-21 MSG)
Responding with a heart focused on goodness, His kind of goodness, allows us to:
reply to a hard word with kindness
release peace into a tense conversation
reassure an uneasy employee or client that their concerns matter
even if you don’t agree with how they delivered their message. Just as God does with us when we draw near to tell Him what is on our minds.
Goodness is put into action by the Spirit, but only if we are fueled by His Word and open to being His conduits of goodness wherever we are.
Bringing This to God in Prayer
God, thank You for Your goodness. I know first hand how grateful I am when You speak to me out of a heart of goodness in the moments when my temper is short, my thoughts are unkind, and I’m drained from too much busyness and not enough time spent in Your Word. Would You help me to respond with Your goodness in every situation I will encounter today? In Jesus’ Mighty Name, and with Holy Spirit’s empowerment, Amen.