1 Peter 2:4-12
Verse 9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.
We come to the sixth portion of the Fruit of the Spirit – goodness. This sounds super easy, doesn’t it? But what exactly does it mean to show goodness? And whose goodness are we to be showing?
There are multiple places in the Old Testament where the word goodness appears and all but one refers to God’s goodness (Exodus 33:19; 2 Chronicles 6:41; Nehemiah 9:35; Psalm 23:6 just to name a few). In today’s passage we can see that because we are His chosen people we can show others God’s goodness. We need to know what His goodness is before we can live it so let’s look at what His goodness is.
The Hebrew word translated as goodness brings with it a deeper meaning than merely being good. It seems more to be something that is given. In fact in Psalms it is sometimes translated as loving-kindness. God's loving-kindness to His people. Left to our human nature we would skip goodness to others. What have they done to deserve it? But true goodness isn't shown as payment for kindness received, it is purely an act of selflessness. We can only show this when God is the One living through us. It is this acting out God's goodness through the Spirit living in us that shows God's goodness to our world.
Our world is not known for its goodness. In fact our world seems to be ever increasing in living the opposite of goodness. Every year it seems there is more opposition to God and His goodness. But that doesn't change His goodness nor should it change ours. We need to remember that this fruit is of the Spirit. It isn't something we manifest ourselves as we could never do anything on our own strength and power that could reflect God in a good light. No, it is because of the Holy Spirit in us, working in us and through us that can bring a proper reflection of our God and Father.
When we bestow loving-kindness on everyone we encounter it is then that we reflect Him and His goodness. When we are reflecting His goodness it shows we worship Him and we can watch pure praise flow from us and those who have seen His goodness in us.
Making It Personal
What is a way you have experienced God's loving-kindness? When have you experienced His goodness through others? How can you show His goodness to others?
Making It Personal Kids
What do you think goodness or loving-kindness look like? Can you think of a time someone treated you with loving-kindness? Have you ever shown someone else God's goodness this way? If not, try doing it today.
Father, Your goodness is more than we deserve. Give us ears to hear the Holy Spirit's prompting to live out Your goodness. In Jesus' name, Amen.