Last week we talked about the fruit of the spirit “kindness.” This week we will explore “goodness.” The two overlap in meaning -- in fact, the Greek root word Paul uses for “kind” is often also translated as “good” in our English Bibles. But there is a distinction here in the list of the fruits of Spirit in Galatians 5.22-23. Paul listed both kindness and goodness as separate fruits of the spirit to emphasize their unique meanings.
Our guest David Mollel and I were talking yesterday about a crisis in both of our our cultures as well as the body of Christ. In Tanzania as well as the US, young men are unwilling to commit to families; at the same time, Christians are unwilling to commit to God. This crisis of commitment has vast implications. A generation is committed to nothing except keeping their options open -- perhaps too open to be anything but destructive.
How do you measure “spiritual success”? I once had a friend tell me that if I wanted to be successful as a minister that I had to first and foremost learn how to “ooze spirituality.” He was not a Christian, and even though he sincerely meant well, his analysis of spiritual success was both intriguing -- and disturbing. I just wanted to follow Jesus, not “ooze” anything!