In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Goodness does not appear in a believer on it’s own. It is the natural result of love, joy, peace, longsuffering and kindness at work (Galatians 5:22-23). And don’t make the mistake of thinking true goodness is simply the absence of evil. It is much more than that. True goodness is righteousness along with acts of kindness.
As with all Fruits of the Spirit, God alone is truly good. His goodness is expressed to us through creation (Genesis 1:31) and experienced by us through salvation (Philippians 1:6). Psalms describes God’s goodness as great (Psalms 31:19) and eternal (Psalms 23:6, 52:1).
Even though God is the only One who is truly good, Scripture encourages believers to seek goodness by modeling our lived after Christ. True goodness is an inward change in a believer’s heart expressed outwardly. This change is the invisible power of a holy God overcoming the sinful nature that is in everyone.
It sounds easy to obtain goodness by just modeling our lives after Christ, but it’s not. Goodness manifests itself only in a life that has been totally committed to the Lord. It is also a requirement for an effective ministry. You can see the outward expression of this goodness of God working in a believer’s life through service to others (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).
The epitome of goodness in a believer’s life comes from the life of Mother Theresa. At the age of 18, she joined the Sisters of Our Lady of Loreto, a Catholic charity order. 22 years later, she founded her own order to take care of those no one else was prepared to care for. She worked with the sick, homeless and poor in Calcutta, India, for many years. Also during this time, she taught school for 17 years. Her Society of Missionaries has spread worldwide where they now care for shut-ins, alcoholics, homeless and AIDS sufferers.
In her later years, she became famous for meeting with world leaders to promote charity and also for receiving the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize and the US Medal of Freedom in 1985. Along with the Nobel and the US Medal, she received dozens of other awards directed at her efforts to promote peace and wellbeing in the world.
Mother Theresa did not do her good works to receive these awards or acclamations. She did these good works to help those less fortunate and to minister to all about God – the true meaning of goodness.