[We have] everything we need … through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
2 Peter 1:3
At first glance, we might think Paul didn’t need to include goodness in his description of the fruit of the Spirit. Goodness can seem to be a catch-all that absorbs every other virtue into itself. Kindness is good, patience is good, love is good. What is it about goodness that distinguishes it from any other virtues?
Notice how often we hear the word “good.” People talk about having a good day, reading a good book, or eating a good meal. Sometimes, the word good is even used to describe things that are not good for you. A man talks about smoking a good cigar, and hockey players who pummel each other with their fists talk about having a good fight.
What one person considers good, someone else may think is hardly good at all. That’s because our concept of goodness is corrupted by sin. We are not always able to recognize true goodness when we see it. It also means we are victimized by the craftiness of the evil one more often than we realize, since he revels in giving something sinful the appearance of something good (see 2 Corinthians 11:14).
Only the glory of God can help us. God’s glory illuminates foolish minds and enlightens hearts darkened by sin. If true goodness is what you desire, “taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8).
Lord, the power of your goodness helps us know the difference between right and wrong. Continue to give us that power, and fill us with your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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