“You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You.” Psalm 16:2
Hundreds of years before the apostle Paul wrote about the fruit of the Spirit, King David understood that without God our goodness is nothing.
But let’s be honest, how many of us really have a clear idea of what the word, “goodness,” means. If you’re like me you can sort of feel your way around a definition but please don’t ask me to try and explain it. It’s more of an “I recognize it when I see it” kind of an understanding.
So, I did a little looking around on the interwebs and I found this definition, from Easton’s Bible Dictionary, and it seems to ring true to me: “Goodness in man is not a mere passive quality, but the deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good.”
I know it’s a bit of a ear full but think of it like the following examples. Goodness is Joseph running from Potiphar’s wife’s immoral invitations even though it meant losing everything. Goodness is Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refusing to bow down to an idol even though it meant death. Goodness is Ruth insisting on caring for her lonely, widowed mother-in-law even though it meant leaving everything she knew. Goodness is God’s description of Job’s character, “He loves God and hates evil.” And goodness is Jesus choosing to suffer as a servant so that we could be sons and daughters of God.
True, uncontaminated, undiluted, goodness is out of reach for our sin burdened characters but thankfully we’re still within God’s reach and he has enough to share. If we will let him fill our lives with the Holy Spirit, God promises he will give his goodness to us.