Devotional: Fruit of the Spirit – GOODNESS
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Galatians 5:22-23 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)
“22And the fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law; and those who are Christ’s, the flesh did crucify with the affections, and the desires; 25 if we may live in the Spirit, in the Spirit also we may walk; 26 let us not become vain-glorious — one another provoking, one another envying!”
The Greek word, agathōsýnē, is translated to goodness in English. The interlinear bible further defines it as an intrinsic goodness with emphasis on it applying to a personal quality. It’s explained as more of a result of kindness and virtue rather than righteousness or morals. This term, agathōsýnē, seems to be unique to only the New Testament in Greek literature.
So, in reading this we can see that this is different than kindness, which we discussed yesterday. Goodness and kindness do go hand in hand, however. In fact, goodness can be a result of kindness! We defined kindness (or chréstotés) as being useful, gracious, and pleasant, with emphasis on taking action to be useful. Goodness (or agathōsýnē) is explained in the interlinear bible as being a result of kindness and virtue and not just a result of high morals. It is more of a personal quality, not an action as is kindness.
So let’s sum that up:
Kindness: actively showing grace and goodness through being useful; an act of grace.
Goodness: a personal quality; result of kindness and virtue.
Taking it a step further:
So, yesterday we used the example of a person in your life who has abused or mistreated you in some way. They were attacked and had fallen and you took action (Kindness) to lend a hand and pick them up to dust them off despite your differences.
I’d say the quality in your character (that you received from the Holy Spirit) that moved you to go over and help that person and that results from helping that person despite the pain they have caused you is the Goodness in your heart.
Now, this is my interpretation from my study of this scripture. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Just keep it positive!!!