What does goodness mean? It is listed in the Fruit of the Spirit. All the major translations, KJV, ESV, NIV and NASB, use the word goodness so that doesn’t give us any clue as to what good means. As we continue our study through the Fruit of the Spirit, we are now at goodness.
Think of all the ways that we use the word, good. It is a greeting, “good morning.” It is used to describe an event, “good times” or a meal, “good food”. We want to hear “good news”. “Good job” are words of praise for how a job was done. While we use this word often, do we think about what it means?
How does the Bible use good. The word Tobh used in the Old Testament means abundant in goodness, plenteous in mercy, abundant in loving kindness. In the New Testament the word used is chrestotes which means riches of his goodness, useful, kind. Finally, good also has the idea of excellence.
Maybe it sounds like I am repeating myself but then again, I am. Each of these Fruits of the Spirit is things that God is or shows to us. God is not asking anything of us that he has not already done. Did you catch that?
God is good. Good is the very essence of God’s nature. “For you, O Lord are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.” Psalm 86:5. Good is a definition of who God is.
God does good. “all things work together for good,” (Romans 8:28 ESV) Joseph tell his brothers this. Even though they sold him as a slave Joseph knew God had a plan and worked all the bits for not only Joseph’s good but even beyond him.
God’s creation is good. The first mention of good in the Bible is Genesis 1:4, “And God saw that the light was good.” We see good repeated throughout the creation story. All that God created was good. It was excellent.
The fall in Genesis 3 brought sin into the world. That has impacted our lives and creation but it has not changed God is still good.
Goodness in our Lives
Understand God is good. “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!” Psalm 34:8 I think the word taste is such a descriptive word for what we are to do. Think about how you taste something. First, you might take a small bite and then a bit more. You slowly chew it savouring the flavours. That is the picture that we need here as we taste and see that the LORD is good.
Believe that God does good for you. The hard and difficult things in your life, do you believe that God will use those for good in your life? The hard and difficult might be different for each of us but God is still good to each of us. Do you see God’s goodness in your own life not your friend, your parents but in your life?
Do good. Our doing good should be a reflection of God’s goodness in our lives. Doing good is not just to those who are doing good to us but even our enemies. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” (Luke 6:27)
Have you tasted and seen that God is good to you?
This is part of A Fruitful Year.