"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23
I think there is only one definition that applies here. I think Goodness is the fruit of behaving how God would have us behave. And what are His highest two expectations on us? To love Him and to love others.
That's the fruit of goodness.
It's simple really. Love God. (period) Love others. (period). No need for an *, "but" or conditions.
Love God. Love others.
Loving God seems to be the easy part. He is dependable, faithful, unmoving and true. Though He may be a mystery, His character gives us the means to trust and love Him fully if that is what we seek to do.
Loving others seems to be where we make it trickier than it needs to be.
What we need to do to have goodness: love others.
What we do instead: love others conditionally.
Isn't that gross to just read?
We are called to love others. Not to love them if they are just like us, believe like us, behave like us or are just like us. That does not produce the goodness we think it does. I mean, it makes sense, if you think you have it all together and have things figured out, that you would want others to do as you do.
The thing is, even if you sort of kind of have it figured out you probably don't and the parts you do may only apply to you. We are not in the people grooming business. We are in the people LOVING business. Leave the grooming up to God.
We can have goodness by just loving people. Not trying to change them first or after but just loving them.
Another part of having a "good" heart, is being willing to own up to our own messes. So often people want to blame the enemy for their bad choices. "I was tempted by the devil", "the enemy is after me", etc. Yes, he is after you but he rarely has to lift a finger. By not owning up to our own messes, we do his work for him. By loving people conditionally you create division, mistrust (people CAN see right through that like of love), disunity and pain, the enemy's brand of "goodness". We are not victims of a clever enemy, we are blame-shifters.
So, do we want goodness? Yes, I believe we do.
How do we do that? Get back to the basic and simple ideas of loving God and loving others.
Without judgment, expectation or conditions. Make the enemy work for a living for a change.