Goodness can be defined as: "uprightness (honorable and honest) in one’s heart and life, that which is morally right, virtuous"

Ephesians 5:8-10 For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

Psalm 107:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 107:9 For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”

true goodness comes from the holy spirit

In all of these scriptures, goodness is discussed as originating from God and given by God. We as people can be “good” according to worldly standards but true goodness comes from the Holy Spirit. Goodness originates with the Holy Spirit growing it in us but it doesn’t stop there.

To get a better idea of what goodness looks like in practice, we can look at two kings of Judah who are described as being good. Both Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29-32) and Josiah (2 Chronicles 34-35) chose to seek righteousness and what they knew was good even in a time where neglecting God’s commands and pagan worship were commonplace. Josiah specifically found the Book of the Law and decided to read and follow what God had commanded in the book. Because they listened to and followed God, they were living examples of God’s goodness.

changed in the process

We can’t force this fruit to happen in our life, but as our hearts are changed to love and trust God more, goodness will naturally begin to be manifested in our lives. However, in the same way that Hezekiah and Josiah both chose to pursue righteousness, we too can make the same choice. We can choose to do what is right. We can choose to say no to temptation, say yes to trusting God with what we are anxious about, stay fervent in prayer, encourage those around us, and have faith to fill in the gaps of our understanding. In the same way that Josiah looked at the law and chose to obey it, we can look into God’s word, examine it, and let it be what begins to transform the way we understand goodness. As we seek to obey what God has spoken to be true, our hearts will be changed in the process.


- Nick Spencer