We come now to the sixth fruit of the Spirit -- goodness.
Most commentators agree that it is the hardest fruit to define as the word "good" is used so widely that it can mean nearly everything and nearly nothing. In some circles, for example, a man is regarded as "good" if he simply keeps out of the hands of the police, while in other circles "goodness" consists of being "highly respectable."The New Testament use of this word (Greek: agathosune) is meager -- apart from its use in Galatians 5:22, it appears on only three other occasions (2 Thess. 2:17, Eph. 5:9 and Rom. 15:14). So it is not easy to pinpoint the real meaning of the word. It is the view of most writers and Bible commentators that supernatural goodness is not just doing good things (though it includes that) but it is essential goodness -- goodness in the inner parts.
This deep down goodness, like kindness, is first an attitude before it becomes an action. In fact, some commentators are of the view that it is more non-verbal than verbal -- it is evidenced not so much in words as in one's whole demeanor. And it is a goodness which unconsciously proclaims itself. One feels it as an aura around its possessor. Its radiations are so powerful that it is doubtful whether anyone could be near to it and yet be unaware of it. Many, especiallynon-Christians, might not be able to describe what they feel in the presence of this "goodness," but they would feel something. And that something is the character of Christ flowing in and through one of His followers.
O Father, how I long to be the channel and not the stopping place of all Your blessings to me. Let this grace, as well as the others, be seen in me. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What was the psalmist's testimony?
2. What is the result of walking as children of the light?