“But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,”
Again it is interesting that goodness comes after love and kindness. It would be so very easy for goodness to become legalistic, harsh and critical, and in the end only superficial. The goodness which is of God is one that comes from deep within, from where it influences and directs our actions. It is a quality that shines out from within us and impacts the people and situations around us.
Goodness is not only passive. It challenges people and situations where it is necessary. So Jesus, when He cleansed the Temple, was reacting to the blasphemy and degradation of the glory of God by the extortion and commercialism that was taking place in this ‘house of prayer.’ Goodness cannot remain as a mere observer. It has the need to change what is wrong. However, we see the other side of the goodness in Jesus when He deals with the woman at the well, and the woman caught in adultery. In both cases He was looking to bring healing and change, but He did so in an amazingly gentle and understanding way.
The fruit of the Spirit is not listed in random order. God’s will is for all of it to be evident in the lives of His people, but it is always built and developed on the foundation of love.
Catch yourself when you are critical – ‘they’ may just be sinning differently to you! Pray that God will purify your heart and mind first.
Father, shine Your light into my life that the loving goodness of Jesus may soften and strengthen me in the way of love. Amen.