In Galatians 5:22, the Apostle Paul provides a list of qualities produced in the life of the community of persons who follow Jesus Christ. He calls these the “fruit of the spirt.” When we are connected to God through faith in Jesus Christ, these qualities are evident in how we get along with others.
The sixth on the list is translated at either “goodness” as in the New International Version or King James Version translation or “generosity” in the New Revised Standard Version. The root meaning is the same, namely showing kindness and consideration towards others.
It’s understandable that we might link “being good” with “being a Christian.” However, being a Christian does not depend on us being a good person. Our connection to Christ has to do with God’s grace and love, not our goodness. After all, Christ died on a cross not for good people but for sinners, or screw-ups, for the unrighteous. He died for people that needed a savior.
Goodness should never be seen as something that is rooted in us.
But with God’s spirit at work in us, we will begin to give evidence of God’s goodness in our interactions with other people. As a fruit of the spirit, our capacity to show goodness and generosity of spirit grows in us as we form strong and vital connection with God.
In a world full of pain, heartache and hatred, we are asked to reflect God’s goodness to others. We are to offer God’s light in the midst of darkness, to point to God’s hope in the midst of despair, to show God’s promise of life and resurrection, even in the midst of death.
Grace and peace,