The Secret to Bearing the Fruit of Goodness [Fruit of the Spirit Series]

Fruit of the Spirit Series image2Anyone who has spent a few days with a young child knows it is impossible for little ones to avoid misbehavior. Even the most passive of children make poor choices and behave badly from time to time.

Yet the age-old struggle is getting our children to admit their fault—to confess their “badness.” 

The same can be said for us adults. We like to pretend we are good people. Sometimes it even looks promising from an outward appearance. Nevertheless, deep down, in our heart of hearts, we harbor malice, envy, judgment, condemnation, lust, discontent … and the list goes on. 

We are anything but good. But we loathe to put voice to that truth. 

Instead, we hold onto our facade, all the while secretly striving to “do better.”

A futile endeavor because according to the Apostle Paul, “… there is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:12b).

What’s worse is we use others as a measuring stick, judging them as good or bad, better or worse! As if those comparisons can make us more “good.” 

But if deep down we are all in a sorry state, what hope is there? Why are we encouraged in scripture to bear the fruit of goodness when no one is good? 

There is hope. With God there is always hope.


Photo by Denim Dave via Flickr.

Embodying goodness begins with acknowledging our sinful nature. The blossoms of goodness start with accepting the truth of our depravity and readily confessing it. 

“If you wish to be good, first believe that you are bad.” —Epictetus

Until we admit we are bad, we won’t look outside ourselves to obtain goodness. And that’s the only place we can find it. In the power of the Spirit. 

No one is good on there own. It is the Holy Spirit in them that is good. In truly good people, their tainted flesh is receding, allowing the Spirit to shine brighter. 

Just like a child needs to realize he is the one being bad before he will change his behavior, Christians desiring to produce the fruit of goodness must first readily admit to and repent of their default bad.

Only by acknowledging ourselves as bad and opening up to being filled by the Holy Spirit can we really begin to bear fruit … 

… overflowing goodness as a fruit of the Spirit. 

In truly good people, their tainted flesh is receding, allowing the Spirit to shine brighter. Click To Tweet

“Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (Romans 8:8–9).

Reflections: How does doing something good and embodying the fruit of goodness differ? Or does it? Please share in the comments. 

Linking with Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience in 2013 for my Joy Dare list  for Multitude Mondays (#1599–1619, read them all by clicking here):

  • Stumbling on old CCC structures while exploring; Feathery designs etched in ice; Enjoying Dan &his roommate this morning
  • Those willing to help me push through my fears; TCW article sent; Excited soccer boy after first game of season
  • Hanging w/Mom today; Finding jeans that might fit 14-yr-old daughter who’s still in pullups; A gazillion twinkling stars
  • 50 deg.; Biblical examples of real-life struggles & faith–recorded to encourage; Speech awards & tribute to 32-yr coach
  • Camp Courageous of IA–respite camp where Rachel is safe & happy; Sweet lady-from acquaintance to friend tonight; Mango!
  • Many helping hands; Regional foods–they add to the spice of life; High school Swing into Spring performances
  • Joyful greeting by Rach when I picked her up from camp; Family fun in amazing everyday surroundings; Gift of #love

Also linking with the following wonderful sites:


By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

3 comments on “The Secret to Bearing the Fruit of Goodness [Fruit of the Spirit Series]
  1. Cecelia Lester says:

    A very thought-provoking post. Thank you for sharing it,

  2. Julie Sunne says:

    So fun to swap posts, Jennifer! God speaks through each of us in a slightly different way. It’s awesome that you are putting to use the 1000 Gifts Journal.

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