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God is Light (7) The Fruit of the Light
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쏤or you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth(Ephesians 5:8-9). ...
       
 
  
 

9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit (7) Fruit of Goodness

Manmin News   No. 708
561
December 19, 2021


쏝ut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23


Dictionary definition of goodness refers to the state or quality of being good, generosity; kindness, moral excellence; piety; virtue. In spiritual sense, it is to seek goodness in the Spirit, namely to follow goodness in the truth.
The goodness in one's heart is certainly revealed by his actions. Thus, if we bear the fruit of goodness, we will emit the aroma of Christ and become the light and salt of the world.


1. What Is Fruit of Goodness?

1) Outward Representation of the Heart that Pursues Desires of the Spirit

Even some nonbelievers try to follow ways of goodness. They also discern between good and evil according to their conscience. However, each one셲 conscience is different from one another.
Conscience is the standard to judge between good and evil. It is based on one셲 nature, which is different according to what they inherit from their parents and how they are raised. Even though children are raised in same family, they turn out differently according to how they accept their education.
People셲 consciences become different depending on what kind of value system they were taught. Therefore, even those who follow their conscience can셳 be considered absolutely good.
However, for the believers, they have only one standard to discern between good and evil. It is the word of God, which never changes. It is 쁤oodness to take this standard of the truth and act according to it. It is to follow the desires of the Spirit. But having earnest desire to follow goodness doesn셳 necessarily mean we셶e borne the fruit of goodness.
Those who follow goodness will show their heart outwardly through their actions (Matt. 12:35, Prov. 22:11). Wherever they go and whoever they meet, they show virtue and love with good words and actions. Let us check whether or not we셱e actually showing the good deeds, even if we might think we셱e longing for goodness.

2) One Can셳 Help But Choose Goodness in All Things

Phil. 2:1-4 says, 쏷herefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Those who have borne the fruit of goodness will cooperate even with the things they don셳 really agree. They셱e humble and they don셳 try to be recognized. They respect even those who are not rich or well-educated and become their true friends.
Even when others harass them for no reason they still have mercy on them. They just humble themselves, so they can pursue peace with everyone and holiness. They do their work faithfully and care for other people셲 work as well.
Luke chapter 10 tells us about a man who was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was robbed and left half-dead. A priest saw him but just passed. So did a Levite.
They knew the word of God and were serving God. They had to keep the Law of God better than ordinary people. But when they actually had to do God셲 will, they didn't.
On the contrary, the Good Samaritan had goodness in his heart. He couldn셳 just turn away from the dying man. Even if it meant he had to spend his own time and money, he couldn셳 just neglect the person in need. When he couldn셳 help him personally, he paid someone else to help.
If he had just passed him by just because he had a reason, he셝 have had the burden for the rest of his life. Namely, he couldn셳 help but choose to do good. This is the heart of goodness.

3) He Will Not Quarrel, Nor Cry Out; Nor Will Anyone Hear His Voice in the Streets.

Matt. 12:19-20 says, 쏦e will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out, Until He leads justice to victory.
If we bear the fruit of goodness, we won셳 have any conflict with anyone, just like the Lord. We won셳 speak of others faults either. We won셳 try to be lifted up. Even if we might suffer injustice we won셳 complain.
If there is any conflict, the cause lies within us. It셲 not because someone is giving us a hard time or because others are doing something unreasonable. It셲 only because we don셳 have broad enough hearts to accept them, and because we have the prejudice that makes crashing noises. If our peace is broken and we have ill-feelings in a certain situation, we have to realize we still have evil in our heart.
If we have goodness, we won셳 break a bruised reed or put out a smoldering wick. If there is any chance of living, we won셳 take the life away but try to give them life. 쁁ruised reed refers to those filled with sins and evil of the world. 쁓moldering wick symbolizes those stained by evil so much that their souls are dying.
Today, even in the church there are people who still live in sins and even stand against God. Some act in evil because they want to be loved and recognized in the church but they aren셳. Some slander others while some others cause trouble in all kinds of work just because they are not leading them.
Even for people such as these, one with fruit of goodness will accept them. They won셳 try to decide who is right and who is wrong or bring others to submission. They treat others with a good heart to melt and move their heart.
Of course, there are still people who go the way of death no matter how good you are to them. However, one with goodness will never give up on them but try to save them.


2. Power to Follow Goodness in the Truth

This fruit of goodness might seem similar with other fruits of the Spirit. You might wonder thinking, 쏷he Good Samaritan helped the person with mercy, love, charitable mind, and compassion, 쏧f you don셳 quarrel or cry out, isn셳 it peace and humbleness? 쏡o all these qualities belong to goodness?
Of course, love, charitable work, mercy, compassion, peace, and humbleness all belong to goodness. Goodness is the original nature of God and it is vast.
But the specific quality that we셱e talking about in goodness here is the power to actually follow goodness. In case of mercy the focus is to help those in need. For goodness, it is the power to actually choose to show mercy and help the one in need.
Also, not quarreling and not crying out are in regard to peace and humbleness. Here, goodness is to be unable to break peace and to actually follow the humble way.
If we bear the fruit of goodness completely, we셪l be faithful in all God셲 household. If we don셳 do our job properly, someone else will probably suffer, and God셲 kingdom won셳 be accomplished to that same extent.
Dear brothers and sisters, the evil people feel uncomfortable when they don셳 give out evil. If they are wrongfully accused, they can셳 bear it without giving out evil. They have to let their anger out to eventually feel comfortable. Even if it means hurting others, they still do it anyway.
On the contrary, those who are good will feel uncomfortable when they don셳 follow the way of goodness. Even when they have the freedom to enjoy something, if there is slightest chance it might cause discomfort to others, they feel peaceful and happy not enjoying it. When we act in goodness in all things in this way, we can be considered to have borne the fruit of goodness.
May you keep the word of God and bear the fruit of goodness, thereby giving out the aroma of Christ and giving glory to God in all things, I pray this in the name of the Lord!


 

 

 
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