You are good. The goodness of God is inside you, and the Holy Spirit prompts you to act out of that goodness.
The fruit of the Spirit outlined in Galatians 5: 22-23 is “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” The Greek word ἀγαθωσύνη (agathosune) means intrinsic goodness, the goodness that comes from God. It is found only in biblical and ecclesiastical writings, according to Strong.
You are made in the image of God, you are God’s beloved child, and you are good. Goodness is different from kindness that way. You are good. You don’t have to do anything to be good; you just are good. Kindness is the action you take because of that goodness.
In her book Rising Strong, Brene Brown asserts that “The most dangerous stories we make up are the narratives that diminish our inherent worthiness. We must reclaim the truth about our lovability, divinity, and creativity.”
You are good. You are worthy of love; to give love and to be loved. You are enough. Many of us have had conversations about that feeling of unworthiness that creeps in that holds us back from doing what God has called us to do. God is in you; God invites you to be a co-creator with God not because God is good. God will equip you to do what God calls you to do.
It is out of the inherent goodness of God within us that we respond to God and want to serve God and God’s people. It is what makes us want to be good and do good. Because God created each one of us uniquely, we have different skills and gifts for how we share our goodness with the world.
You are good.
Diana Butler Bass was one of my college professors. In her newsletter (https://dianabutlerbass.substack.com/p/another-monday), she quoted Marcus Borg in his final book Convictions– “The fruits of centering in God are many and intertwined, but the most important are compassion, freedom and courage, and gratitude.” Diana says, “These traits are central to the most important thing – “loving what God loves, participating in God’s passion for a different sort of world.” They are directed toward love of neighbor, a natural growth and being centered in God.
In the Gospel of Matthew 22:34-40, the Pharisees ask Jesus what is the great commandment of the law? Jesus reminds us what is most important: to love God with all your heart soul and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. The goodness within you makes you desire God, and fills you with love for others too.
Each of you is good. I love to hear your stories of how you have seen and experienced God at work. I believe that Psalm 23:6 is true: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life.