God calls us to love one another. Paul says that without love, nothing else matters. When we begin to love as we should, the fruit of the Spirit grows and matures in us. The fruit of goodness is born out of love. When you love, you want to do good for those you love—your friends, family. But goodness reaches beyond those who are close to us. Goodness is a quality that sees beyond what the physical eyes observe and desires the best for other people, no matter who they are. Goodness desires fairness and justice. Goodness is compassionate. Goodness is truthful. The Bible tells of God’s goodness over and over again, not because of anything we did to deserve it, but because He is good. (Titus 3:4-5) We are to extend that same goodness to others because God has been good to us and we serve a good, good Father who is ever present, ever loving and ever able.

Ps 141:5; Pr 24:26; Is 49:16; Mt 6:14-15; Jn 8:32, 13:35; Ro 3:23-24, 15:7; Gal 5:22-23, 6:1-2, 10; Eph 4:15; 1 Thes 5:11; Titus 3:4-5; Heb 4:15-16

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control… (Gal 5:22-23) But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:4-5) So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. (1 Thes 5:11) Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. (Gal 6:10)

With God we never wear out our welcome. He shows us mercy when we are tempted, when we fail, when we fall short of his expectations. Jesus was tempted in every way just as we are, so he understands our frailty and he knows what we face. We should show the same understanding to others when they fail and fall short of our expectations. God accepts us and loves us no matter what; however, we can count on him being honest with us at the same time. When we sin, it isn’t ok. He doesn’t affirm our bad behavior, and we should not affirm sin in the lives of others. We should show goodness by being truthful with them and help guide them onto the right path, not in judgment, but in love. (Gal 6:1-2) God forgives us time and time again. We must do the same with those around us. We have not been chosen as judge and jury for any of God’s children. Thankfully, God decided to forgive us because if it had been up to a jury, we might have lost out on eternity with Christ. God values us and loves us unconditionally. His consistent love affirms us and gives us self-worth. Psychologists say that our self-worth is based on what we believe the most important person in our life thinks about us. With God as that “most important person” we should never doubt our value. God calls us to affirm those around us. With every opportunity, we are to build people up, affirm them, let them know they are loved, and encourage them. The desire to enrich the lives of others by your words and actions is a deep-rooted fruit, goodness! Let it flourish!

When you think about God’s goodness to you, what comes to mind? Is your first thought about material or spiritual things? Why do we tend to rate God’s goodness on our material wealth, physical health and tangible blessings? Where is the depth of His goodness found? (Titus 3:4-5) How are goodness and kindness alike? How are they different? Can you have kindness without goodness? Can you be kind without being good? What goodness has another person shown to you? Do you find it easy to extend goodness to others? On a scale of 1-10, how is your goodness? Do you appear to have spiritual fruit, but it’s fake? Are you more of a grower or gobbler of spiritual fruit? What does a gobbler look like? What does a grower look like?

Cultivate your fruit. Practice goodness. Many things don’t just happen; you have to water, till, nurture and care in order for the fruit to grow, ripen and mature. Develop your goodness.

My good and gracious Heavenly Father, thank you for being with me all the time. You know what’s going on in my life and heart every second of the day. You affirm and accept me. Help me to extend goodness to all those whose lives I touch. Speak to me by your Spirit that I may see the open doors you place before me. Many people need to be accepted, forgiven, affirmed, known and loved. May I show goodness to those who know you and to those who don’t. Help me and all your children to bear fruit that will bring many to salvation in Christ, in Jesus Name, Amen.