Ezer Equipped | Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

Ezer Equipped | Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

I need you to get here now. My husband had a stroke.

It was my sister on the other end of the line. My brother-in-law, in his early thirties and with three small children, had experienced a massive stroke. In the months that followed, we rode a rollercoaster of multiple surgeries, time in the ICU, and the possibility of losing my brother-in-law multiple times.

Since my sister and her family were new in the area, they had no community. So I called upon my church community for help on her behalf. This is where we experienced goodness.

His parents would fly in and take shifts, anticipating the weight of caring for three toddlers and a home. Instead, they would arrive to see kind strangers helping with laundry, cleaning, grocery delivery, getting the kids out for activities, and more. For weeks on end, the help never stopped, the tasks completed joyfully.

The “strangers” stood out as different. As they served, they embodied Romans 12:2 which says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Goodness is much more than the absence of evil. It’s not just doing a good deed, or checking a box, and it is certainly not manufactured. While true goodness is marked by acts of kindness, these acts freely flow from the changed life of a sinner who is now consumed by the love of a Holy God. Our God, who is the essence of goodness (Genesis 1:31), bestows unlimited, undeserved generosity on us and we, in turn, sow that selfless generosity into others.

Whether you have experienced receiving or sharing the goodness of God through believers, I hope you see how beautiful true goodness is. We cultivate it by the power of the Holy Spirit. We stay connected to others, making room in our days for the unexpected. And we fully expect to sacrifice our time and resources. If we’re too busy or disconnected, we will miss out on opportunities to show goodness to those around us. At the same time, we can rest in the constant nature of God’s goodness.

Those strangers did not do a good deed, they were acting out of God’s goodness. Through Christ, they were a light in a dark place. That light spread across multiple states and touched many lives. While God is good no matter what, in this instance, it pleased him not only to save my brother-in-law, but to restore his ability to walk.

This month, we are praying 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 over you:

“So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.”


Jackie Vest

For the Ezer Newsletter Team


Take a moment to read Luke 10:25-37.

In this familiar parable, Jesus answers the question, “Who is my neighbor?” He tells the story of a Samaritan who expends significant time and resources to come to the aid of a man who most likely considered him an enemy. At the end of the story, Jesus tells his listeners, “Now go and do the same.” He calls us to move toward a broken and needy world with practical help and the life-saving message of the gospel. Opportunities to “be the good” are all around us!

  1. The word “good” is not included in the text, yet we always refer to this man as the “good” Samaritan. Why do you think that is? What is it that makes him “good” in this parable?
  2. What do you think motivated the Samaritan to stop and extend help to a man he knew probably hated him? What would motivate you to extend yourself to someone in need who isn’t like you?

In the introduction above, reread the prayer from 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, and then consider these questions:

  1. What “good things” is your faith prompting you to do? What opportunities do you have to “be the good” to those around you?
  2. How have you built in margin and cultivated a heart of sacrifice so that you can embrace those opportunities? How willing are you to have your life interrupted for the sake of another?

Libby Thomas

For the Ezer Newsletter Team


We encourage you to use these conversation starters as a means of self-reflection and for discussion within your community.

  1. Have you ever experienced goodness from a kind stranger? If so, what was the situation? How did it make you feel? What did it make you think?
  2. Do you ever struggle with desiring personal glory from your goodness? If so, what idols are you struggling with when that happens? How can you battle your idols in those moments?
  3. Take some time to consider yourself as the injured man and Jesus as the Good Samaritan. We are fallen, vulnerable, and in great need. Jesus sees us and reaches out to us with compassion and goodness. Write a prayer thanking him for his goodness toward you!

Courtney Vaughn

For the Ezer Newsletter Team

For Further Study:

What Grieving People Wish You Knew About What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts)

Book by Nancy Guthrie

We often have the desire to “be the good” for those grieving around us, but can be intimidated by potentially saying or doing the wrong thing. Guthrie weaves together numerous testimonies with scripture to present wise and practical ways we can enter into others’ pain without causing further damage. This resource can encourage, empower, and equip the church to extend goodness and “weep with those who weep” when the time comes.

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