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.
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.
A fruit of the Spirit: GOODNESS lesson plan for children
Use this fruit of the Spirit: GOODNESS lesson plan for Sunday School or at home!
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. The Fruit of the Spirit GOODNESS Lesson:
Help children look up and read Mark 10:17-18, then share the above fruit of the Spirit (goodness) devotion.
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?
*Remind kids that goodness grows when we get closer to Jesus and understand what true Goodness is, not just by trying harder to be good.
Jesus, thank you for being a perfect example of goodness, and for sending your Spirit to help us grow in goodness too. 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 gifts 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).
Fruit of the Spirit Goodness Object Lesson
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 on Galatians 6:9. This coloring page is available in 4 translations.