Goodness – A fruit of the Spirit
Let us begin with prayer:
Gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruit of the Spirit. You have already spoken to us about love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness. Now you will speak to us about goodness. Lord, we acknowledge all good things come from you. Open our eyes to your goodness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Good and goodness are two words that are popular in everyday language. Many of us have a preconceived idea of what they mean. As a parent of pre-teens, I hope and pray that my children are good in public and at home. I also hope that I am a good husband and a good father.
We often hear that people hope to go to heaven because they have been a “good” person in this life; yet if they do not have a “personal” relationship with Jesus this may not be so.
So, we need to understand and establish what good and goodness is. There are many types of good and goodness and each of us will define the word good in different ways. For example, I think a good steak is one that is cooked to medium/rare, while my father-in-law loves his to be well done, and a brother-in-law loves his to be a blue steak or really rare. None of us would consider the other type of cooking to be good enough for us.
As a group, please share what you think good, and goodness is?
You may find that you all have with different meanings within your group.
According to Collins online dictionary, the word goodness is a noun. And it can mean: 1. the state or quality of being good. 2. generosity; kindness. 3. moral excellence; piety; virtue.
Have you ever tasted a good piece of fruit? Describe your experience. Have you ever taken a bite of a piece of fruit which you thought was good on the outside and then found it was either rotten or had fruit fly? What was your experience?
A friend of mine who comes from Queensland expressed his surprise at how good the citrus and stone fruit, especially peaches, were in South Australia compared with those in Queensland. Many of us are aware that to experience or appreciate something that is good, we often need to experience something that is the opposite so that we can compare things.
We can also see this in our everyday reality, where we may judge people or things, because of what we perceive to be either good or bad in our local community or society.
What are some good things or bad things that you see in society at present? Now many of us realise why things are not good anymore. We can list a few reasons for the bad in the world.
The number of times the word goodness is mentioned varies between Bible translations. The Word goodness is mentioned 50 times in the King James version, while in the NIV version, there are 20 mentions.
The term good is mentioned approximately 778 times in the King James Version and 610 times in NIV. As Christians, we understand that all the good things and all goodness has its source in our Heavenly Father. This is something that Jesus alluded to in Luke 18:18–22 that God alone is good.
When God created the world, he made everything good. Please read Genesis 1:1 – 2:4. How many times can you count the word “good”?
What we read; the word good is translated from the Hebrew word tov. The first use of this word is in Genesis chapter one where God calls his handiwork “good” (as it is usually translated). It should always be remembered that the Hebrew language often relates descriptions to functionality. When God looked at his handiwork, he did not just see that it was “good”, he saw that it was functional – “like a well-oiled and tuned machine”.
Later in this reading from Genesis 1, God saw that everything was “very good”. In this case everything worked well together with each other, just like you would expect that a new car would have no problems with it.
How can we demonstrate “goodness” in our life? Where does this goodness have its source – is it from inside us or from somewhere else?
When we look at the list of the fruit of the Spirit, we may realise that these are attributes of God. Many of us would realise that we are lacking in many of these attributes and that it would be “good” to have more of them in ourselves. To have more patience, more kindness, even more goodness.
Please read Galatians 5:22,23. These are the theme verses for this year’s study series. It shows us the fruit of the Spirit. What struck you as you heard it being read?
Which fruit of the Spirit do you most appreciate in yourself? Which fruit of the Spirit do you most appreciate in others?
I was speaking to another person, as I was writing this study, and we both concluded that each of these attributes are inter-related. They work together like the engine in a car or like ingredients in a cake. You cannot just have one without the others. Sometimes we may desire one attribute more than another, yet they are all required in the believer’s life.
As we close this study time, are there any other comments that you like to mention?
Let us pray together and then close with the Lord’s Prayer.
Gracious Heavenly Father, we thank you for the breath of life and the fruit of the Spirit. We thank you that you always tend the garden of our hearts. Continue to water and nurture the life of faith that you have given to each of us and help us to build each other up. Help us to show your goodness to others in our communities. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.