H – FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – 8
Again we come to the dilemma of differentiating between kindness and goodness. It seems that in many cases kindness is a quality of the temperament. Goodness defines and puts kindness in action. The word, “goodness”, is used in various aspects. Word Studies by Vine presents these in particular: upright, righteous, expresses itself in deeds, morally honorable and pleasing to God, beneficial, and to do good to the benefit of another. An attempt will be made to follow these through the Scriptures.
To begin we recognize that God is good. Ps.86:5; Ps. 106:1 We experience the goodness of God as we praise Him and thank Him for His many blessings that He has bestowed upon us. The Israelites realized this in 1 Kgs.8:66 All that God made in the beginning was “good”. Gen.1:31
As Paul stresses the fact that we all have sinned, he quotes from Ps.14:1 in Rom.3:12. Intrinsically, none of us are good without the blood of Christ that covers us as we become Christians. Rom.15:14 Now as followers of Christ, we bear the fruit of Light, which is Christ. Eph.5:8-10
As we refuse to be conformed to the world, we prove what the will of God is by following after that which is good. Rom.12:2 In fact, we must cling or hold fast to that which is good. Rom.12:9 Otherwise we may loose it.
As Jesus was explaining His healing on the Sabbath, He explained that those who did good deeds would see life everlasting. Jhn.5:29 What we do shows our heart. Eph.4:28 It is so easy to do good to our friends and those that return the good. This is not our instruction as Christians. Lk.6:33 Even if someone hates us, we still do good. Lk.6:27
Our heart changes as we follow Christ. The parable of the soil explains the condition of our heart. As formally mentioned, we must cling to the Word and to what is good or the devil can take it out of our hearts. Lk.8:12 Some are overjoyed when they become Christians. Wait awhile and the desires of the world takes over their heart and soon they have gone back to the world. Lk.8:13 Life brings so many worries and temptations that it may be difficult to focus on the promises of our Lord. Phil.4:6,7 We attempt to take care of everything ourselves. We cease to grow and the good we had once attained is choked. Lk.8:14 When we hold fast with our focus on the Word, then our hearts will take root and grow and we can bear fruit and become profitable for our Lord. Lk.8:15
As we do good, it is important to remember that we are doing it for the Lord and not for men. It is for the Lord’s glory and not for ours. 1 Cor.10:31 Sometimes the good we do may not be appreciated. Complaints may ensue. Eph.6:8; Col.3:23 Even though people speak erroneously of us, by doing good, that may be stilled. 1 Pet.2:15 We must never retaliate but do good for one another and for ALL. 1 Thess.5:15 Most of the time if we are doing good with a good heart, we need not fear, but even if we are, don’t be troubled or fear intimidation. We will be blessed. 1 Pet.3:13,14
As human beings, we are imitators. Who do we imitate? With media so prolific in our culture today, we see and hear too many of the world and then it becomes natural to imitate them. This is unspiritual and unprofitable for us. 3 Jhn.11 If we catch ourselves imitating the world, focus on Scripture, put your heart into messages and classes at church, fellowship with Christians. Pray. 1 Pet.3:11
If we busy ourselves with doing good in service for others, we won’t have time to delve into worldly distractions. Gal.6:10; Col.4:5 Hebrews speaks of doing good and sharing as a sacrifice. Heb.13:16 Service to others does require us to give up our time for self, leave our comfort zone, and even share materially and financially. Paul instructs Timothy in this respect. 1 Tim.6:18
Do we have difficulty finding something “good” to do for someone else? Any time we see someone performing a service for someone, are our eyes and minds open to see how we could help? Can we see the needs of others? Do we try? We can be so blind and sometimes just sit and watch someone doing good and never offer to lift a hand to help them.
The above are not the only ways of doing good. Does our compassion for others help us see their need of comfort or encouragement or maybe just noticing that they exist and are friendless. A visit, a phone call, cards are all a part of doing good.
Once we start thinking of others, many ways of service will come to mind We know Jesus went about doing good. Acts 10:38 Who would be better to imitate than our Lord?
May we add goodness to our lives by doing good to all. Eccl.3:12; Ps.34:14