It is my belief that all true goodness comes from God. This goodness is not always what the world considers ‘good’. This goodness manifests itself in a human as a desire to serve and give glory to God. When I talk about ‘good’, I don’t mean something that’s a little better than ‘okay’ and a little worse than ‘excellent’, I mean something that has no trace of bad, that is pure and perfect.
In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah said that “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6), and in the New Testament, the apostle Paul said that goodness is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). The theme that emerges if you look for goodness in the Bible is one of human inadequacy and God’s power to transform us. I know that some people have accused Christians of being pessimistic about the human condition, but if you go by the standards of goodness that the Christian God demands, there is no way that you can argue that humans have it sorted. For a human to be good, we must allow God to make us good.
How do we allow God to make us good? We humble ourselves. We confess with our mouths and believe with our hearts that Jesus is Lord (Rom. 10:9). We become like children before God (Matt. 18:3). We accept that God’s grace is sufficient in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9-10). We have to allow our own perception of our importance to decrease in order that God’s power in us may increase. This is not false humility that is actually a way of bringing more praise onto ourselves, this is genuine humility that directs the praise on to the God who sustains everything and who is our goodness because of what Jesus went through on the cross (Col. 1:20).
Jesus is the “author and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2), so let’s trust in him to make us perfect too.