“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.”
St. Jerome
For thousands of years, the word good has been synonymous with quality. Of product, of health, or relationship, and especially, of character.

 

The quality of being good is about integrity. Morality.  The deliberate preference of right over wrong. It is the kissing cousin to the fruit of Kindness, which goes to attitude. Where Kindness can be an instance, goodness is a moral behavior.

 

In fact, we see in the bible that goodness is a natural result of kindness – anyone can show kindness; God wants us to have a good character, one that overflows with Kindness!

 

  • Romans 15:14. Called to be full of goodness.
  • Ephesians 5:9. Reminds us that the children of the Lord of Light will consist of goodness
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:11. Praying that God fulfills every good purpose

I spent alot of time, trying to understand where Kindness and Goodness intersected. I found that both come from the Greek word chrestotes, which conveys moral goodness, integrity, kindness. And so, I think a way to consider this is thus: kindness is the action that flows from a good character.

“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.”
Dennis Prager
Does that mean that someone who acts with kindness is good? Not necessarily. In fact, the Bible specifically address this in Galatians 6:9-10 (The Message translation):

 

“So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.”
Which is wonderful to hear, right? Acting with kindness, out of the goodness of our heart can be exhausting sometimes! It is in those moments that the Fruit of Goodness, powered by the Holy Spirit, enables us to go beyond what flesh or emotion can accomplish.

 

You may recall from our podcast series on The Goodness of the Samaritan, that we showed how we went beyond acts of kindness to demonstrating a good heart. He extended his help to the man to the point that it impacted his own plans.

And so it is that, as Christians, we are charged to live out our faith with a good character, demonstrated by our acts of kindness, starting with (but not limited to) our brothers and sisters in Christ.