Fruit of the Spirit: GOODNESS (lesson + devotional)

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The fruit of the Spirit GOODNESS includes a Jesus-centered devotional you can use in a lesson, as well as a full “fruit of the Spirit: goodness” lesson plan with a game, coloring page and other activities.


Goodness As Fruit of the Spirit (instead of as a virtue)

As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. ”Only God is truly good.”

 

Mark 10:17–18 NLT

What is the definition of “goodness” as a fruit of the Spirit?

What is “goodness” all about? What does it mean to “be good”? If I say please and thank you to my mom, is that enough? Am I a good person if I try to help others? Does God think I’m a good person?

Wow, that’s a lot of questions. I guess “being good” is more complicated than we thought!

To learn about goodness, let’s look at Jesus. What does he say about goodness?

Once, a man came running up to Jesus, knelt down, called him “Good Teacher”, then asked a big, complicated question. He called Jesus “Good Teacher” just to be polite, but Jesus called him out on it, because goodness is more than being a smart person or a good teacher.

Only God is truly good. To say that God is good means that he always does what is right. There is nothing bad or evil or dark about God, so he always chooses to do the right thing. He is GOOD, all the time.

Can you imagine being good all the time? That means never lying, even a little bit. It means never saying something mean, or taking a cookie without permission, or yelling at your mom or feeling sorry for yourself. Wow, that would be hard.

A pinterest pin with a graphic of a child, and the text: The fruit of the Spirit is Goodness: a Christ-centered lesson plan and free printables

It is hard. In fact, it’s impossible to be truly good. That’s why Jesus said “only God is good”. But Jesus IS God, so when we look at Jesus’ life, we see the only human being who was ever truly good. Jesus was good even when no one was looking. He was good when people tried to kill him, when his friends turned away from him, and even when he was flipping over tables in the temple.

That brings us to a problem.

If only God is good, then how can you and I grow in the fruit of goodness?

Can we ever be good?

Goodness starts by accepting that God forgave your sin through Jesus’ death on the cross. Then, it continues as the Holy Spirit works inside you to make you more like Jesus. 

He helps you practice doing the right thing even when no one is looking, when life is hard, and even if your friends turn away because you follow Jesus. The Holy Spirit produces the different fruit of the Spirit, not your own power. 

Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 NIV) We can do this because of the God’s power through the Holy Spirit!

Fruit of the Spirit book!
*This devotion is featured in my book, “Fruit Full: 100 Family Experiences for Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit” and is used here with permission. See the book on Amazon.

A Fruit of the Spirit: GOODNESS lesson plan for children

Use this fruit of the Spirit: GOODNESS lesson plan as a Sunday School teacher or at home!

  1. INTRODUCTION:

SUPPLIES:  Fruit that looks good but kids won’t like, or those disgusting jelly beans that look normal but taste like puke and dirty socks.

Give each child one of the snacks and ASK: Does this look good to you? Let’s try it!

After they try the gross food, SAY: It looked good on the outside but it was gross on the inside. Humans can be like that too. We can look really good on the outside when we’re actually really gross on the inside. Goodness isn’t just about what we do. It’s about who we are when no one is looking. God knows how easy it is for us to pretend to be good. We can do all the right things, but if we do them while angry or disrespectful or whiny, it’s not God’s goodness. The world’s goodness and God’s goodness often look the same, but you have to look at the inside, at the heart, to know if it’s really coming from God or not. Let’s discover God’s true goodness today.

(Feel free to give kids an actual good-tasting fruit or jelly bean before continuing.)

2. Bible Lesson:

Help children look up and read Mark 10:17-18, then share the above fruit of the Spirit (goodness) devotion. Optionally, you can read them the parable of the Good Samaritan as well.

After, ASK: When is it hard for you to be good? How do you think Jesus would act in that situation? How can the Holy Spirit help you grow good fruit?

*Remind kids that goodness grows when we get closer to Jesus and let God’s Spirit work true goodness in us, not just by trying harder to be good or do more good works. True goodness is a result of spiritual growth, not the cause of it.

3. PRAYER:

Father God, thank you for being a good God. Christ Jesus, thank you for being a perfect example of goodness. Spirit, thank you for helping us grow in goodness. Help us to practice goodness so we can show others how good you are. Amen.

4. FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT GOODNESS ACTIVITIES:

  • Have kids pretend to be wheat farmers. They can act out moving rocks, making rows, planting seeds, watering and weeding. As they pretend to toil, have them speak Galatians 6:9 out loud. ASK: Is it always easy to be good? Who can help us with it?
  • Invite kids to write Galatians 6:9 in fancy letters and post on their bedroom wall.
  • Have children draw/paint a picture of some of the good things God has given them.
  • Teach kids a breath prayer: As you breathe in, say “How great is the goodness” and as you breathe out, say “you have stored up for me.”
  • Use an online Bible to search for the word “gift” in the New Testament. What do you notice?


*As you share these activities, be sure to keep the conversation on the fruit of the Spirit GOODNESS gospel-based (meaning the power to grow in goodness comes from the Holy Spirit, not from a try-hard, moralistic life).

A pinterest pin with a graphic of a child, and the text: The fruit of the Spirit is Goodness: a Christ-centered lesson plan and free printables


Fruit of the Spirit Goodness Object Lesson

Object lessons are great ways to encounter a Bible lesson in fresh ways. Enjoy this fruit of the Spirit Goodness object lesson idea from my Instagram page!

 


 

A fruit of the Spirit:GOODNESS coloring page

Download and print this entire package of fruit of the Spirit coloring pages and activities, including this GOODNESS coloring page featuring Galatians 6:9. This coloring page is available in 4 English translations of God’s word.

Fruit of the Spirit Goodness memory verse (Galatians 6:9, NLT)

See my other Fruit of the Spirit Lesson Plans here:

🍎 The Fruits of the Spirit for Kids: A Gospel-Centered Approach

🍊 The Fruit of the Spirit LOVE: lesson plan and activities

🍌 The Fruit of the Spirit JOY: lesson plan and activities

🍓 The Fruit of the Spirit PEACE: lesson plan and activities

🍇 The Fruit of the Spirit PATIENCE: lesson plan and activities

🍏 The Fruit of the Spirit KINDNESS: lesson plan and activities

🍑 The Fruit of the Spirit FAITHFULNESS: lesson plan and activities

🍋 The Fruit of the Spirit GENTLENESS: lesson plan and activities

🥝 The Fruit of the Spirit SELF CONTROL: lesson plan and activities

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