“What do you think it means to be a good person?” my friend asked me one day. I was stunned. It was such a simple question, yet I didn’t know how to answer it. I had just told him that I didn’t care to learn about God and His Word; I just wanted to be a good person, to do good works. But I didn’t even know what that meant. So my friend explained that in order for me to be most successful in my quest to be a “good person,” I needed to learn from God’s Word about being fruitful in every good work.
As my friend went on to teach me, God has done so much for us. To show our thankfulness to Him, we can become fruitful in every good work. When we are fruitful in every good work, we show others who we are in Christ.
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.
There are many different ideas about what constitutes a good person or a moral lifestyle. In choosing to live according to one particular code of ethics, we could end up making some people happy but offending others. Nevertheless, Colossians 1:10 shows us that when we “walk worthy,” when we walk or live suitably in the Lord, we are pleasing to God. We don’t have to wonder if we are pleasing Him; as we live the Word we are learning and growing in, we know we are. This is very important if we are going to produce good fruit. How wonderfully reassuring it is to know that our life can be pleasing to our heavenly Father!
When we are fruitful in every good work, others can see who we are in Christ. They can see what we have on the inside—God’s wonderful gift of holy spirit. God desires that we become fruitful in these works that demonstrate the Christ in us (Colossians 1:27).
Jesus Christ used the example of trees to show how people are known by their fruit.
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
The grounds of The Way International Headquarters include several types of tree. Since I know very little about trees, throughout most of the year I can’t tell which type is which. But in the early fall, I can identify right away which ones are the apple trees because I can see the bright red fruit. I also know that these trees are healthy because their fruit is abundant and looks delicious! Similarly, we are known by our fruit. Our spiritual fruit glorifies our heavenly Father and indicates to others that we have holy spirit within.
As born-again believers, we are ambassadors for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20). That means we have the joy to tell others about God’s goodness, power, and love so that they, too, can experience the more than abundant life that Jesus Christ came to make available. When we are fruitful in every good work, we go beyond merely telling others about God’s blessings; we show them. By the fruit of our good works, they too can get to know our heavenly Father.
I experienced this process firsthand when my friend asked me what it means to be a good person. He had already stood out to me as someone who was different than my other friends. He was fruitful in every good work. Because of the Word of God he knew and lived, he was positive, disciplined, confident, and kind, and good things always seemed to happen to him. I admired his quality of life, so I wanted to hear what he had to say about being a good person.
I am so thankful that my friend took the time to teach me about being fruitful in every good work. When we are fruitful in every good work, we please God and show others who we are—and thus who they can be—in Christ. What a wonderful ability and privilege God has given us to be fruitful in every good work as we live according to His will.