Once again, I find it’s time to move on in my journey of discovering some fresh Fruit of the Spirit. Having enjoyed my time at the Fruit of Kindness, I know that the Fruit of Goodness awaits. Goodness, Mmm, it even sounds good!
When I think of the exhibition of the characteristic of goodness, one person in particular comes to mind. This person is one of my oldest and dearest friends, and is truly the embodiment of goodness. In all that she does, she tries to do good. When faced with choices in any given situation, there are a couple of acronyms that are sometimes used. For Christians, the acronym is WWJD, for What Would Jesus Do? For Republicans, the acronym is WWRD, for What Would Reagan Do? And for me, before I became a Christian it was WWLD, for What Would LaNae Do?
LaNae is one of those rare individuals who honestly walks what she talks, and she is who she is, whether she’s around others or alone. She doesn’t just quote the golden rule, she lives it. On the rare occasion she interacts with someone who isn’t very nice, or perhaps is just rude in general, she typically uses the “kill ‘em with kindness” approach. Now, before you think I’m idealizing her, I know she’s not perfect, and she’d be the first one to admit that. As with all good friends, boy could I tell stories! (Wink, wink, LaNae) But the point is, she always tries to do the right thing, shows kindness to everyone and walks in integrity. She is a genuinely good person and has always been both a true friend and a great influence to me.
Part of the reason that she is such a good person, is because though she’s not perfect, she looks to, and follows, someone who is perfect – God. He is our ultimate example of goodness. He loves us, even when we’re unlovable. He comforts us, when nothing else can. He forgives us, though we don’t deserve it. He is faithful to us, even when we aren’t faithful to Him.
God’s goodness is abounding for those who love and follow Him. Because of His goodness He blesses us, He provides for us, He heals us, He protects us and He leads us to the kind of life He has for us. There are many scriptures in the Bible that refer to the goodness of God. Psalm 31:19 says it this way, “How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.”
Even with the goodness of God, unfortunately, we still live in a fallen and broken world, and though we are His children, we still have stresses and storms in our lives that come upon us. Fortunately for us, we also still have His word to cling to. In Psalms 27:13 it says, “Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” Isn’t it wonderful that we have the assurance of God’s goodness, while we are still here in the land of the living?
Doing the right thing is not always the easy thing, but that is what leads us to goodness. When we come to God, through Jesus, He gives us clothes of salvation and a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10), not because of anything we’ve done, but because of what Jesus did for us. Since we have a robe of righteousness, we are able to walk and grow in goodness by having integrity, virtue and sound morals. It is through the development of goodness, that we are able to choose to do what is right, or what is good. When we choose to walk in goodness, the goodness that God has shown and given us, we are then able to say no to gossip, slander, lying, stealing, cheating and all other types of sin. Saying no to sin may not give us an easy life, but it does help us to have a good life. So I guess you could say that goodness is very good!
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” ~ 2 Peter 1:3-4