Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

“For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true).” Ephesians 5:8-9

We use the word “good” for so many purposes: something tastes good, looks good, smells good; someone has done well- but is any of it really “good”? What is good? Think of a lightbulb- there is a bright light INSIDE that radiates outward giving light to all around it- there is no darkness at all. Good is sort of like that- it takes both the inside and outside to be good. Ephesians 5:8-9 says that we are light in the Lord. It tells us to “walk as children of light”. It also tells us that the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.

So as God’s children, we are to radiate HIS light. That is where our light comes from- from him. Remember that Ephesians 2:8-10 reminds us that his grace saves us alone. Keeping all of the darkness out of our lives is impossible. In fact, the Bible says that God ALONE is good: Mark 10:18. It is only because of his goodness and grace that we can be good, and our “goodness” does not get us into heaven.

So why be good if he forgives us anyway? 1 Peter 2:12 reminds us that when people see our good deeds, it glorifies God. Our goodness is a response to Him. Kind of like kindness, goodness involves our motives (remember that light on the inside). We have to pray for forgiveness for our motives sometimes, even as our outside actions are “good”. In fact, the artificial fruit is “hypocrisy”: in other words, doing something good with other intentions. And as you might expect, the “weed” is evil. Psalm 52 talks about evil.

This is a lot to digest- actions, motives, light. How in the world, are we supposed to bear fruit that is “good”? We can’t do it apart from God. Remember, he redeemed his creation. He will give you the strength to be good.

Have you reflected on God’s goodness lately?

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