Galatians 5:22-23 lists nine separate fruit of the spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Most are easy to define. But the fruit of kindness and the fruit of goodness are so similar, it can be difficult to differentiate between the two. The Bible lists them separately throughout the Scriptures and uses the two terms differently, so it’s important to take the time to discover the true meaning of each of these two fruits of the spirit.
Most Bible scholars agree that the two are interdependent, and in studying and meditating on the Scriptures, it is clear that goodness is the foundation for kindness. The Bible describes goodness as a state of being. It says that God is Good. Goodness isn’t just something He has, it’s who He is. Since we’re re-created in His image, goodness is who we are, too. (We just have to develop the fruit and act on it!)
Therefore, God’s goodness within us is what causes us to be kind. It produces kindness as its result. How do you develop goodness? By spending time with Goodness Himself. The more you understand how good God is, the more your life will be rooted in that goodness.
Goodness is a change in your spirit that comes when you are born again and then transformed by the renewing of your mind by studying the Word of God.
Kindness is the action that comes from that place of goodness. (We’ll talk more about what that looks like later in this week’s reading.)
If you struggle with being kind to others, start by going back to the goodness of God. Study His goodness in the Word for yourself, and ask Him to give you a fresh revelation of it. (We’ll cover God’s goodness tomorrow.) Your life will be forever transformed.