“The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, GOODNESS, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
When Paul writes to the Church in Galatia about the fruit of the spirit, he is telling them about nine different benefits that come into our lives and our character when we live by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Our character comes to reflect God’s character, so that our lives and our actions are characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Today, we’re going to focus on the fruit of GOODNESS.
Goodness refers to morality and virtue, especially as it benefits others. Some have defined it as “holiness in action.” It isn’t just about being good, but also about doing good. We display goodness when we are motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. So, when we talk with our children about how the Holy Spirit manifests “goodness” in our lives, we can talk about how we can be a blessing to others.
On the Bible Knowledge web site, Michael Bradley calls goodness a kind of magnet:
"Many people who have been saved through an individual believer say that what drew them in was the love and goodness they saw shining through that believer. One of the key qualities a nonbeliever will pick up on in a solid Christian is this quality of goodness. This quality has an ability to really get down deep into the core of a believer’s personality… You can see it and feel it when you get around these types of people. As a result of seeing this God-like goodness deeply ingrained into their personalities, there is an immediate drawing towards them. You feel totally safe being around them because you know you can totally trust them, and you know they would never deliberately hurt you."
To create a striking image in your child’s mind about the cleansing power of Christ’s forgiveness and our capacity for goodness through the power of the Holy Spirit, try the following:
1. 1. Fill a cup or bowl with water. As you add a few drops of red food coloring, talk with your child about how the water was once pure, but adding the color calls to mind how sin (mean thoughts, unforgiveness, impatience, etc.) takes away the purity of our lives. How can we clean our minds when they are polluted? How can we return to lives of purity? Only through the cleansing of Christ’s forgiveness! Now, add some chlorine bleach to the cup or bowl, and watch as the red coloring becomes clear. The water isn’t red anymore! It’s been purified! In the same way, when we ask for God’s forgiveness through Christ, and invite the Holy Spirit to direct our lives, we are can be purified! We can be “cleaned up” on the inside.
2. 2. Get out three glasses. Before your child sees them, add a few drops of blue food coloring to one empty glass, and a few drops of red food coloring to the second empty glass. Leave the third glass alone. Bring your child into the room.
Pour water into the glass with the blue food coloring, talking about how sin causes our lives to become dirtied. It can often hurt others and cause us to feel guilty. We need someone to forgive us. Forgiveness comes through Christ, through the sacrifice he made for us when he died on the cross.
Now, pour water into the glass with the red food coloring, talking about how Christ took the punishment for our sins so we could receive forgiveness. This red water symbolizes, or stands for, his death on the cross.
Now pour water into the third, empty glass, explaining that the result of Christ taking the punishment for our sins, and then overcoming death to rise back to life in the resurrection, was that we are forgiven by God and made pure inside. Whenever we sin, we can come to God through Christ and ask His forgiveness, and He will forgive us! “God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we've done wrong” (1 John 1:9, God’s Word translation). Our relationship with God has been restored through Jesus, and we are God’s forgiven and beloved children.
These activities are found in Power Pak of Object Lessons, compiled by the editors of KIDS Church, and published by CharismaLife.
Sing a Song of Goodness
Listen to “The Good Song” from Seeds Family Worship (link below) to celebrate the goodness of God, who makes it possible for us to be good, as well!
Click here to access this coloring page to print out and enjoy!
1. With older children, read the following Bible verses together, and then talk about what each one teaches us about goodness. Let your children share their thinking!
Galatians 6:9: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
1 Thessalonians 5:15: “Make sure that no one pays back one wrong act with another. Instead, always try to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.”
2. With children of any age, read the story of The Good Samaritan from a children’s storybook Bible, or from Luke 10:25-37. (There are also videos on YouTube, and online story re-tellings you may prefer to access.) Talk about which characters in the story did NOT demonstrate goodness, and which character in the story DID demonstrate goodness. What “good thing” did the Good Samaritan do? What can we learn from the Good Samaritan that we can apply to our own lives? (How can WE do good in our lives?)
If you missed the earlier posts on fruit of the spirit, you can find them here:
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