“Perfect is the enemy of good enough.”
This is a line they teach us often when it comes to novel-writing. Where the effort for perfection will often never get all the way off its butt and do something, being good says, “I recognize I will never be the best of the best there ever was. But that won’t stop me from doing great things now.”
We are never going to be perfect representations of Jesus in this life. We will never have it all together. We will never achieve perfect knowledge or perfect execution of godly principles. We just won’t. But we don’t have to. What we have to do is do good, right now with what we have.
We have to follow Jesus. Obey Yahweh. Make a difference. Spread truth. Give love and kindness. Show mercy. Walk humbly.
And we must do this all through the context of goodness, understanding that while we may not do everything perfectly, we will still be about our Father’s business.
What is Goodness?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines goodness as “the quality or state of being good; of a favorable character or tendency.”
The word used for “goodness” in this context in the Greek language referred to moral uprightness or excellence in one’s heart and life. Goodness strives for what is right even if it’s not what is easy. It draws distinct moral lines in the sand and adheres to what God qualifies as right, turning away from what He deems wrong. Goodness is a way of being that cares more about being right with God than right with man, no matter the consequences.
What Does the Bible Say About Goodness?
Titus 2:14 – [Jesus] gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Psalm 37:3 – Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
How Can I Increase in Goodness?
Goodness, like the other fruits of the spirit, is a natural outworking of a spirit-driven life. When we become focused on the things of God and make an effort to walk by the spirit, matters of right or wrong become much more black and white. As uncomfortable as this can be, especially living in a world where many issues are blurred in shades of gray, we have a responsibility before God to do our best to walk in moral uprightness in our hearts and lives.
So naturally we increase in goodness by pursuing the things of God above the things of the world, and also by consciously turning away from things that try to pull us away from Him.
Living in goodness requires a level of dying to self so that we can live for God. It’s rarely easy, but thankfully the spirit working in us helps lessen the strain. It encourages us in our inner being to reach out for those things of God, and when we feel tempted by the distractions of this life, we may even feel an internal friction that compels us to turn away from those distractions and back into the arms of our Heavenly Father.
Doing good deeds and living in the goodness of the spirit is not a level of spirituality we achieve; it’s a lifelong process. Because of our sin nature, we’ll always battle against the urge to do what’s easy over what’s right. Sometimes we’ll win, sometimes we’ll lose. But thank God we have that holy spirit in us, that God works in us to want to do and to do His will! This makes it easier for us to see the profit of denying what tempts us and instead live a life of goodness that is a joy to God, a wonderful witness of Him and His Son, and a blessing to those we encounter.
Make it a point this week to put the things of God before the distractions of this life and do good above all else!