“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16-25)
Goodness means uprightness of heart and life. It’s the quality or moral excellence of the good person. It’s a kindly disposition towards others. Other words for good are: morally excellent, virtuous, righteous, of high quality, excellent, right, proper, well-behaved, kind, honorable, worthy, educated and refined, genuine, reliable, dependable, not spoiled or tainted, cheerful, optimistic, free of distress, agreeable, pleasant, warm, sufficient, competent, skillfully, socially proper, loyal
God is the final standard of good, and that all that God is and does is worthy of approval. “And Jesus said to him, why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone” (Luke 18:19). Only God is good, none other. He is our stronghold in the day of trouble, as said in Nahum 1:7 “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him“, and “O taste and see that the LORD is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Psalm 34:8).
All that God gives in good for it is said that “every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). We receive goodness from Him when we walk uprightly, for “no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11b). We receive goodness from Him when we ask Him, for “how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11). And we receive His goodness when we are disciplined by Him, for “He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness” (Hebrews 12:10).
We should imitate God’s goodness by doing good ourselves, doing what God approves. “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Galatians 6:10). We should “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27b), and “do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it” (Proverbs 3:27).
We are strengthened by Paul’s words to the Romans when he says that “concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another” (Romans 15:14). We have goodness in us through the grace of Jesus Christ.