Hello my friends, hope you are all doing well and pressing in the father. I am finally getting back to the “Fruit of the Spirit” series that we have been exploring. Thanks as always for your patience; for taking time to read the blog and sharing with your friends. We have looked at 1. Love 2. Joy 3. Peace 4. Patience 5. Kindness and Today, I have a word on 6.Goodness, as a component of the fruit of the spirit (Gal 5:22) which I want to share:
- God Wants You To Experience His Goodness
Who wouldn’t want to experience the goodness of the Lord?Or have goodness and mercy follow them all the days of their life? Or have the “good spirit of the Lord” instruct them when they are in desperate need of direction? Who wouldn’t want to see the Lord crown this year 2015 with his goodness and fill their paths with great increase? Better yet, who wouldn’t want their unsaved family members, loved ones and friends to experience the goodness of the Lord which leads to salvation? My good friends, God wants YOU to experience of the fullness of his goodness and simultaneously emanate this goodness.
- So What Is ‘Goodness’ or ‘Good’?
Goodness in its original translation means “of a good constitution or nature, useful, pleasant, agreeable, joyful,excellent, distinguished, upright, honorable” and so forth. The term is so multifaceted in its use that we find ourselves borrowing it in diverse circumstance to convey our sentiments: For instance, one may say “good character” as though to say “this person has a pleasant attitude”; Or “good drink” as though to say “this beverage is strong”; Or “good service” as though to say ” this business agency delivers quality services”; or “good relationship” as though to say “this relationship is working out great”; or “good church” as though to say “this church has good preachers and is very welcoming” etc. Hopefully you get my point here: the term “good” is generously ascribed to a category of descriptions provided that the thing which it is describing brings some sort of gratification. As much as this is great, the God-kind of “goodness/good” is beyond mere gratification or the fruit of an exterior work.
- The God-kind of Goodness & It’s Manifestations in Your Life
The God-kind of “goodness” is innately birthed by the inner workings of the holy spirit (see Phil 2:13). This “goodness” is measured in the light of the father’s goodness– and mind you, the father is very good. In fact, scripture says it is His goodness that leads us away from sin to repentance (Rom. 2:4). And the sinner who is won over by this affectionate display of the father’s goodness is consequently motivated by it to now produce good works ( Eph 2:10). These “good works” now manifest in many ways: it influences how we deal with conflict management, in how we speak the truth in love, in how we treat people who may have wronged us, in how we utilize our authority over others when we are in positions of power and influence, in how we give honor and respect to others, in how we give our time and resources, in our lifestyle choices (diet, exercise, work activity), in what activities etc we give our attention to, and even in how we treat our own selves too!
- When “Good” Is not so “Good”: Some Life Examples
The flesh on itself cannot produce any good works; Or if it did, it would not be lasting or would not stand the test of time. This is why Apostle Paul in Romans 7:18 says “there is no good thing in my flesh [ carnal selfish dispositions]”. In fact, in our attempts to “do” good works from fleshly dispositions, sometimes we oppose what God is doing. For instance, feeding a toddler is a “good thing” because he/she cannot feed him/herself; Feeding him is therefore a display of a “love/goodness/affection” etc. But if that child is always spoon-fed past the time he should be feeding himself (yet has the full capacity to feed him/herself), then the “help” being offered is indirectly hindering that child’s development and capacity to be healthily independent. Let me give you another classic example from scripture: At the mount of transfiguration, Peter had the honor to be invited by Jesus; But in Peter’s over-zealous disposition and bewilderment, he almost lost focuse on savoring the divine heavenly moment with Jesus but instead told Him “it is good for us to be here ( to remain here) and if you wish I could build 3 tabernacles: one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah”. Was it necessary? Peter was already with the one in whose fathers house are many mansions! he did not have to offer to build a habitation; perhaps he could have just plugged into the immense glory of the moment as Jesus was about to be transfigured.
- Finally, Some Great Reflections & An Offer For You This Week
Consider the story above: Are we any different from Peter? Maybe not; Sometimes we do get extremely over-zealous and frantic in an attempt to display the “goodness” inside of us in certain situations but the God-kind of goodness is always measured in the light of the father’s goodness and PURPOSE because it is him who works in us both to will and act to fulfill his good purpose. This inner working of the fruit of goodness is spirit-led and motivated by love. It calls good as good and evil as evil. It is does not compromise on truth even when popularity or fame is offered in exchange. It stands the test of time. It emanates from the inner workings of the holy spirit and it is displayed even in the direst of circumstances. It is developed and cultivated; It is a beautiful thing and today…..
….It is available just for you:
“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me (that is, in my sinful nature). For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing…In my inner being, I delight in God’s law…What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” ( Romans 7: 18-25)
The father is here to deliver and help you as you call on Him even now. I pray that you are liberated by the good news of Christ and his goodness for you. I pray that you are empowered to manifest his goodness wherever you are in life because He that lives in you is greater.
NB: I am in the process of responding to your blog questions. In fact, the next post will be a response to one of the questions I received about how we balance our time effectively,juggle school, kingdom work and other aspects of life in such a way to produce results. I am excited to answer this question so please check back for that blog post and keep sharing the blog post links 🙂