It seems to be universally accepted that it’s good… to be good! Children are rewarded for being “good” kids, at funerals we often hear how” good” the person was and people generally admire “goodness” in others. Phrases such as “he’s a good guy”, “living the good life” and “eat it, it’s good for you” all depict appreciation for goodness.
A Chinese friend of mine once told me that although he came from a simple family in rural China with an uneducated mother, she still taught him the basic principles of being a good person. Without any education, she instilled in him the basics necessary for being “good”. She taught him not to steal, cheat or lie. She taught him to respect others and to work hard.
Some refer to this basic knowledge of good in each person as “the divine spark”. That is the area in our spirit which yearns for and connects with God.
In Galatians 5:22 we learn that “goodness” is the product of the spirit of God living in us. We can access true goodness once we accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. “ As with all the other fruit, we choose to yield to the spirit of God in each situation, and as we yield, kindness, love and goodness flow from our lives.
In Greek, the word goodness, “agathosune,” means “uprightness of heart and life, the state or quality of being good, moral excellence, virtue, kindness, and generosity.” Goodness refers to being truthful, honest, caring and responsible and a host of other good attributes. Goodness is really the essence of God’s nature.
In 2 Peter 1:3-8 (NIV) Peter encourages the believers to not only have faith but to add “goodness” to faith, which implies that we can choose and that we have a job to do. Although God made it possible for us, we actually have to make an effort to develop this in our lives.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This is amazing grace, to have access to all goodness through God’s divine nature given to us, yet the choice is ours. In every situation you might face today, in every relationship, you can choose to access the goodness of God and display it by your words, thoughts and actions.
Eph 5:8-10 (TPT) “Once your life was full of sin’s darkness, but now you have the very light of our Lord shining through you because of your union with him. Your mission is to live as children flooded with his revelation-light! And the supernatural fruits of his light will be seen in you—goodness, righteousness, and truth. Then you will learn to choose what is beautiful to our Lord.”
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith [fellow believers]” (Galatians 6:9-10).
May you experience God’s goodness today and may you spread goodness wherever you go. Talk about living ‘the good life”.