A Hopeful Value


The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Gal 5:18
Art by Millie Vink, Cathedral Grammar School

What it is:

For such a simple word, “Goodness” is hard to explain! Two illustrations might help. A “good” apple is one which is whole, with no rottenness hiding inside. It is real and complete. An object or word is considered “good” if it does what it is meant to do or designed to do.

Like that apple, we aim for goodness when we value being real, whole, with no rottenness hiding inside us. Like that object or word, we are good when we live our lives as we were designed to live them. How do we know what we are designed for, though? How do we know how to become whole and real and “good” all through? That’s where the Christian foundation of this value shines through (see below!)

What it is not: 

Goodness does not involve setting ourselves up as “better” human beings than others. As soon as we’ve done that, some rottenness has crept in. 

Goodness doesn’t mean being boring! We were designed for laughter and love and joy (among many other things!), and goodness means living into what we were designed to be.

Goodness does not require being perfect, or even exceptionally “good” at everything we try. Goodness is a state of being, and is not affected by how skilled we are or how many failures we experience.

What makes this a Christian value?

It is hard to do what we are designed to do if we believe we are an accidental result of trillions of atoms coming together in human form. Many atheists have, with great heroism, constructed their own systems of beliefs as to purpose and meaning, but our hope is grounded in the reality of God and God’s purpose for each one of us. We are designed uniquely for a reason, and believe that God has given us guidelines to follow in order to find wholeness. We also believe that we can call on God’s strength to find the rottenness inside us and heal it, setting us free to continue on in hope.