Passion for Christ and Compassion for Other = Goodness
Who amongst you consider yourself to be good? There is no person that is good. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard (Romans 3:23). Goodness mean godliness or god-likeness. Goodness comes from God, apart from God, there is no one that is considered good. A Christian can produce goodness, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, when he abides in Jesus Christ. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me, you can do nothing” (John 15:6).
Goodness and kindness are closely related, and yet they are distinctively different. They both originate out of our love for others, but are expressed in different ways. Kindness is doing good deeds for others, where the receiver has a pleasant and delighted experience. Goodness, on the other hand, means doing good to others, where the receiver may not have had a pleasant and delighted experience.
For instance, you may help carry someone’s burden. As a result, you have made their burdens light, and it would be a pleasant and kind gesture to the recipient. Likewise, a parent may do good deeds of righteousness by disciplining their kids, but the kids may not feel pleasantness or kindness from the parents. Nevertheless, parents discipline their children out of love, and it is good for them.
Goodness is not necessarily kindness towards others, but definitely goodness towards them. Kindness is goodness, nevertheless. Goodness may include kindness, plus godliness in action. It is to be zealous for the righteousness of God, and to have compassion for people, which results in goodness. Kindness emphasises directly on the welfare of others, whereas goodness emphasises on God’s word for the welfare of others.
While kindness makes everyone feel good about it, goodness may appear to be as sternness, unpleasant, it could be a rebuke, a correction, rocking of the boat, confrontation, etc. However, one has to be careful not to turn goodness into rudeness. We know we are doing good works when our actions are pleasing to God and are in accordance to the word of God. While kindness is pleasing to everyone, goodness may not be pleasing to people, but it is definitely pleasing to God. Jesus ministers to everyone with kindness and goodness, but not everyone was pleased with Him. There were people that were offended by Jesus’ words and deeds, but He always pleased His Heavenly Father in everything He did. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17).
It is a struggle to define goodness, because it is the same as defining God. There is no one that can define the awesomeness of God, as it is impossible to express God just in words, art or music. For the LORD is good; His loving kindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations (Psalms 100:5).
Goodness pairs up together with righteousness and truth. These three virtues work together. For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth (Ephesians 5:8). So goodness can be summed up as an act of love towards others that is based on the righteousness of God and the truth. Jesus is our righteousness. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). And He is the truth. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).
We produce the fruit of goodness when we walk in the righteousness of God and abide in the truth. When God created all of creation, including mankind, He said it was very good. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day (Genesis 1:31). Mankind sinned and fell short of the goodness of God. So Jesus took our sins upon himself and gave us His righteousness, so that we could be good again. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2.24).
You and I can say we are righteous because of the blood of Jesus. We are good because He made us good by His good works and goodness. We are to be imitators of Christ, so that we can be more Christ-like, full of goodness. We become imitators of Christ by obeying the word of God. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
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