Luke 6:43 – “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit”
Galatians 5:22-23 is one of the most memorized scriptures in the bible. This scripture speaks of the fruit that comes out of being part of Jesus and having the Spirit within. It lists many different “fruit” that should be produced from us.
So let’s discuss the fruit and what they should truly look like in our lives.
Be Like Christ To Be Good
If you are to define goodness as best you can, you have to start with the prime example. Philippians 2:1-18 states this quite clearly:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others… (Phil 2:3-4)
Goodness starts by being of one mind with the Holy Spirit and the rest of the Trinity. You must choose to not look out for yourself but to care for what others think and want.
When you begin to do this, then this part of the fruit starts to take root in you.
Remember, as Philippians 2:13 says, it is God’s pleasure that is coming from your actions and working in you, and therefore we work for His enjoyment and not necessarily our own (though they do gradually become the same).
The Human Condition
In Romans 3:10-12, Paul points out how humans lack goodness. We lack the ability to be righteous on our own. This is why it is important for us to seek Christ continually, because he is the goodness. We must become like him.
Phillipians 2:1-8 speaks to how we can represent Jesus the best way: to be the same servant he was.
Since our nature isn’t to be good naturally, showing the goodness of servings others as Christ did is a statement of the Lord being within us.
As we do this we become more and more the likeness of Christ, and we put forth the best representation of our Lord that is humanly possible.
The problem with discussing goodness is recognizing true goodness. You can appear good and not be good.
To be really good is to be less selfish and more pure in all your actions. That is the true definition of “goodness”, to be pure in your motives.
Now, the problem with selfishness is that it’s something you have to discuss between you and God. We as people can rarely tell what someone’s true motives are.
On the reverse side of things, people might think that your actions are selfish, but if you truly mean them to be unselfish and good and know that they are, then continue your actions. Others will see your goodness in time and how it benefits others.
Lastly, even if people don’t recognize your goodness, the best part about being good is that it has it’s own reward. (God’s pleasure in us).
For some of us, we cannot understand how to be unselfish easily, so let me give you this piece of assurance: God knows the best reward is that we become righteous in and through His son. (2 Cor 5:21)
In other words brothers (and sisters), you have permission to be “selfish” in one way… In enjoying God working in you! Accept His holiness and righteousness even when others may not see your prize.
Experiencing Christ is the greatest goodness we can have, and show.