In our last article, we discussed the first five “fruits” of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. Love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness. In this article, we will study the last 4 qualities listed, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Let’s begin our study.
What exactly is goodness? To understand what is meant by goodness, we must first understand what is meant by “good”. So what is good? Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”. We see that the Lord is good. Therefore, anything surrounding the Lord is good also, especially his Word. However, how does this apply to the fruit of the Spirit? Well, if we display the qualities of the Spirit, we show goodness to all, and pursue good things. Paul tells the Galatians in Galatians 6:10, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Paul puts an emphasis on doing good to those who are of the body of Christ, but he tells us to do good to everyone. This includes serving others and showing them kindness, forgiving others who have sinned against us and so on. Showing goodness and being kind to others are a fruit of the Spirit we should have.
Faithfulness is one of the most important aspects in a Christian’s life. It is what leads us to salvation and helps guide us along the path of life. But who are we being faithful to? Ultimately, we are to be faithful to God. Proverbs 28:20 says, “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.” God will bless us if we are faithful to him. But what does it mean to be faithful? Very simply, it means to obey God’s commands and live for Him. John 14:15 says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” If we truly love God and want to follow Him, we will obey his commands and live by His Word. If we have the fruit of the Spirit, we should be faithful to God.
Gentleness is an important part of being a Christian. Solomon put it best when discussing gentleness. He says in Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” If we are kind and gentle when speaking to others, the person receiving our message is more apt to listen. However, if we display anger or harshness in our words, it only makes the situation worse. We should always speak with kind, uplifting words. Even when defending the gospel, we should be gentle. Peter says in 1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”. We should have an answer for the hope we have, but we should not be angry and hostile to those who ask. Why? Because gentleness and kind words draw people near, harsh words and tones stirs up anger. We should be gentle with our words and tones.
Self control is an important part of being Christian. We are tempted throughout our lives and we need to exercise self-control to remain faithful through those temptations. 1 Corinthians 9:25 says, “Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” If we practice self-control as Christians, then we will receive an imperishable wreath or, in other words, eternal life. Proverbs 25:28 tells us, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Once we give in to temptation and have no self-control, there is nothing to stop us from giving into temptation again. Self-control is like a wall. Once the wall is down or we have no self-control, we leave ourselves open to temptation. Therefore, to have the Spirit, we must show self-control to remain faithful to God.
These 9 qualities of the Spirit are essential when looking at the qualities of a Christian. If we have the Spirit living within us, we should show these qualities in our life. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We should always show these qualities or “fruits” as a Christian.