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Engage with Grand Canyon University's (GCU) vibrant Spiritual Life community and take a deeper look at the various ministries that are happening around the world, in your backyard and on our campus. From weekly devotionals to Chapel highlights and features that reflect God's work in the hearts of our students, staff and faculty, each article is presented by GCU's Spiritual Life team and our special guests. We hope that God will challenge and encourage you through His words and the stories about His people that inspire us all.
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Weekly Devotional: Fruit of the Spirit – Goodness

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A little girl whispers in Santa's ear about how good she has been

By Lauren Abraham
College of Humanities and Social Sciences Student, Bachelor of Arts in Communications

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

As the Holy Spirit works in our lives, our character is transformed. In the areas of our lives where we once held onto sin, which reflects our human nature, we can now possess the fruits of the Spirit and reflect God’s character.

One of the fruits of the Spirit is goodness. So, what does this mean, and how can it be applied to our lives?

Growing up, we were often told to “be good.” Maybe this looked like helping your mom with the household chores or getting good grades in school.

I think the true meaning of the word “goodness” is commonly overlooked, though. Goodness is action; it’s not something we do only for the sake of being virtuous.

When we strive to be “good” only for our own benefit, it is not truly goodness that we possess. In Greek, the word goodness, “agathosune,” means “an uprightness of heart and life” (Thayer & Strong, 1995).

When we act out of true goodness of the heart, we are obedient to God’s commandments and seek the benefit of others. Our actions come from a place of selflessness, and we place the needs of others before our own.

Does this sound familiar?

The life of Jesus Christ is the perfect example of goodness, as He died on the cross for the sins of humanity in order to give us the gift of eternal life. His ministry and sacrifice is an example of God’s goodness toward mankind. After all, the term “gospel” means “good news.”

Peter, a disciple of Jesus, talks about the goodness of Jesus’ ministry in Acts 10:38: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”

In addition, Jesus is called the “good shepherd” in Scripture, because He laid down His life for His sheep.

We are called as Christians to live in a way that reflects the character of Christ. Matthew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Goodness is not about doing elaborate things to gain recognition. Oftentimes, it is the small acts of goodness we do throughout our day that mean the most to those around us.

Is your friend having a bad day? Write them a note to let them know how much you care about them. Is someone putting you down? Pray for them.

It is in these acts of goodness that we reflect Christ’s character. While it may seem like no one notices, God does. Ultimately, when we show goodness, we bring glory to God’s name.

Grand Canyon University’s Department of Spiritual Life creates an atmosphere where students can learn more and grow in their faith. To learn more about GCU and our Christian heritage, visit our website.

Reference:

Thayer, J., Strong, J. (1995). Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

About Lauren Abraham
Communications Major, Digital Copywriter for GCU Blogs

Lauren Abraham is a junior at Grand Canyon University. She was born and raised in Phoenix and enjoys living here. She has loved her time at GCU so far, as she has made many friendships and discovered what she is passionate about. Currently, she is studying communication with a minor in marketing. She has always loved writing and working with people, and one day hopes to become an editor or journalist. In her free time, she enjoys staying active and spending time with her family and friends.

Read more about Lauren