According to Galatians 5:22-23, there are nine fruits of the spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, & Self-Control. Like any fruit put in the dirt with a desire for growth, harvesting takes meticulous time, patience, and nurturing. When we harvest these fruits in our lives, we become more like God -- allowing the Holy Spirit to move through us and guide us through life instead of allowing worldly influences to control our actions and tongue. Goodness, one of the nine fruits of the spirit, is a way of worship in the eyes of God. We can define goodness as, “doing good to others who are undeserving” and one of the best examples of this is Jesus dying on the cross for our sins.
Good works is moving in God’s purpose for His kingdom
Christ exemplified goodness throughout His whole life. Even in death and resurrection, Christ shows us that doing good works is less about us and more about moving in God’s purpose for His kingdom. There is a level of faith that comes with choosing to harvest the fruit of the Spirit, goodness, in your life because the world teaches us to ask, “Well, what is in it for me?” We like to do good things when it benefits us the most. However, the goodness that Christ displayed in His life had nothing to do with him and all to do with God’s purpose.
The life that Jesus Christ lived on Earth is the perfect example of goodness. During His time, Jesus fed the hungry (Matthew 25:31-40), He healed the sick (John 9:1–12), and He preached the good news about God’s Kingdom all over Galilee (Matthew 4:23). Jesus shows us that even as the son of the God that made the trees, oceans, and the stars, he still remains humble and purposeful in His actions toward expanding God’s kingdom and showing God’s love over His people.
God tells us in Colossians 3:23 that, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” This tells us that any good works that we do on behalf of the kingdom are for God’s glory and not for the glory of ourselves, any institution, or person on this Earth. The purpose that God has placed in our hearts was not placed there by mistake. In fact, Matthew 5:16 states, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Goodness through trials
As we move into Christ’s death, it is important to know the significance of this event with respect to the fruit of the Spirit, goodness. When Jesus died on the cross to forgive us of our sins, when he was near death, he spoke out to God and asked, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”(Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34). Jesus not only dies on the cross for us, an undeserving people, not to mention out of goodness, but he does it in the midst of when he felt most abandoned. Even when He is mocked and hung for public humiliation, Jesus still chooses to walk in His purpose with God, serving those who need it most even in the midst of His own trial and tribulation. On the cross, Jesus reminds us that harvesting goodness in our life doesn’t always benefit ourselves, but it always benefits God’s plan and His kingdom.
Harvesting goodness in our life requires work just as harvesting any fruit. It encourages us to serve those who are often overlooked by the world’s standards and humbles our spirits. God has given us all gifts and blessings in our lives and He wants us to share those with His people. Thessalonians 3:13 encourages us in times where doing good is more difficult than others, “As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.” Let’s nurture the fruit of goodness in our lives and continue to let God’s light shine through our works for His glory.