Goodness

Agathos (Greek) describes that which,
a person being good in character or
constitution, will be beneficial
in its effect on others.

The Fruit Of The
Spirit Is ... Goodness!
      "Goodness" has fallen on bad times in our day!  It has a bad press connotation - after all who really wants to be "good."  It's expecting people to be wimpish or weak or somehow less aggressive.  In the minds of too many people today, it's an old-fashioned quality which is out-of-date.  We'd rather be chic, slick, popular, exciting, with it, or living on the edge.
      Then ... when you think about it, wouldn't you rather do business with a "good" merchant?  Send your kinds to a "good" school?  Be a patient of a very "good" doctor? Drive a "good" car? Be married to a "good" spouse?  Do everything you can to raise "good" kids?
      "Good" and "goodness" are two very popular words in the vocabulary of our day.  We like to think that what we do is "good" to benefit others.  But what really is "goodness"?  Are the actions of our living amounting to the greatest "good" for others?
      Before we consider "being" good and "doing" good, we will be needing a working definition of goodness.  The measuring rod and the standard has been set by God and not by humans.  God is the measure of all things, including goodness and what it means.  So we'll attempt to start with an understanding of the "goodness" of God as a harvest of the Spirit's working in our living.
            Goodness is love in action,
            love with its hand to the plow,
            love with the burden on its back,
            love following His footsteps who went
            about continually doing good.
                 (James Hamilton)
 
            Wesley's Rule:
            Do all the good you can,
            By all the means you can,
            In all the ways you can,
            In all the places you can
            At all the times you can,
            To all the people you can,
            As long as ever you can.
            (John Wesley)

      Our first study takes us to Psalm 100: 1-5.

Describe what you mean by calling someone a "good" person:
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          

Would you consider yourself a "good" person?  Why?  Or why not?
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          

What do we know about the character of God from Psalm 100?
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          

Exactly how do we know that God is good?
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          

How do the actions of God reflect the goodness of God?
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          

Have you discovered how we are to worship God from this psalm?
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          

How have you responded to the goodness of God in your life?
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          

What do these verses say about our relationship to God?
                                                                         
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          

How do we know that God is good from these passages?
                                                                           
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          

Relate how the goodness of God can help you with your current lifestyle:
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          

Based on what you have read in this psalm, write your working definition of goodness:
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          

What do you think is meant by "his gates" and "his courts"?
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          

 

Assignment:

  • Consider your relationship with others.  What can you do to introduce goodness into the mix?
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
  • List the things in your life which you believe are a manifestation of the goodness of God:
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          

 

            Goodness, Nine Fruits of the Spirit  by Robert Strand.  New Leaf Press, 1999.

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