FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: GOODNESS
Goodness is the sixth fruit that is mentioned in the fruit of the Spirit. It is an act of pursuing what is morally right. It is similar to kindness, but goodness focuses more on the attitude of a person's heart. It is about not giving in to bad behavior, for example, uncontrolled anger, jealousy of the heart, pride, selfishness, not considerate to others, not helpful, lazy, or trying to get even when wrong instead of forgiving. God wants us to pursue what is good, not only in actions but also in our hearts. In other words, we should not be a hypocrite.
The problem of the religious leaders in the time of Jesus was that their good actions did not match the attitude of their hearts. In Matthew 15:8, Jesus said to the religious leaders, "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." The religious would pray in public to be seen so that people could praise them. For us, it could be that we show friendliness to others, but we have full of unforgiveness in our hearts. God wants us to pursue goodness in our hearts. I like the prayer of David in Psalm 139:23-24, he prayed, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life." Goodness is not only about doing good but also about the attitude of our hearts. We need to be willing to allow God to change our hearts to pursue goodness in our lives.
When we practice goodness in our lives, we will be able to live in peace in our hearts because we are real to ourselves and God. Our good actions match what's inside our hearts, and the people around us would then see Jesus in our lives.
Ask yourself these questions: What is goodness? Are my good actions match the attitude of my heart? How do I show to others that I belong to Jesus?
Write down all the worries that you are facing today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for teaching me about what it means to pursue goodness in my life. Please change my heart and get rid of any bad behavior in me so that the people around me would see you in me. Please help me to be real of myself. Please help me with (mention your prayer requests). In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.