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This question already has an answer here:

What is the physical significance of Gibbs free energy. I mean I can't correlate it with practical world?

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marked as duplicate by Emilio Pisanty, Jon Custer, hyportnex, Void, John Rennie thermodynamics Jan 12 '18 at 14:06

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  • $\begingroup$ Also posted on Chemistry SE. Cross posting is not considered appropriate on Stack Exchange. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Jan 12 '18 at 12:25
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Gibbs free energy basically determines whether a reaction will be spontaneous (-ve) or non spontaneous (+ve). When a piece of sodium is dropped in water, it immediately reacts with water. Hence, the process is spontaneous, i.e. it does not require a catalyst to drive it forward, or anything to initiate it. In a non spontaneous reaction, a chemical reagent is required to force the reactants to react.

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