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Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

As we conclude our study on the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), I came across this quote that I’d like to share: “The ‘fruit’ of the Spirit is one fruit with nine characteristics, not nine different and distinct ‘fruits.’ Meaning, if a person is walking by the Spirit, others will see all of these related qualities in them. Spiritual maturity is not multiple choice.”

Our final characteristic is “goodness.” Why must we reflect the characteristic of goodness? It is a characteristic of our God and of our Savior (Ps. 119:68; Rom. 11:22; Acts 10:38).

One New Testament example that comes to mind is found in Acts 9:36-42. We’re introduced to an individual named Tabitha, translated in the Greek as Dorcas, which means gazelle. Dorcas isn’t mentioned anywhere else in the Bible; what we read of her in this text is all we know about her. But there’s no question Dorcas made a difference in the Kingdom of God.

How can we follow her example?

Live a charitable life: Dorcas’ life was full of kindness and charity (v. 36). To Dorcas, being good meant doing good. Dorcas didn’t perform a good work here or there, whenever she felt like it. She “continually did” so. Serving was a way of life for her. She was a doer, not just a talker. In fact, we have no record of any of the words Dorcas spoke. It was her deeds for which she is remembered.

Do what you can: Dorcas had a particular set of skills (v. 39) — she made clothes for widows. She didn’t do everything, but she did what she could. This is where we’re at — we can’t do everything or do what others may be able to do. But we can all do something. Every day, there is someone who we can help, in some way.

We have been created to do good (Eph. 2:8-10). We are created with a particular God-given purpose. Goodness isn’t just a one-time or rare event in our lives. It is a daily life activity. We must pray for and look for opportunities to do good works to believers and non-believers (Gal. 6:10).

Steven Matthews


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