~kindness; benevolence of nature; mercy
~the moral qualities which constitute Christian excellence, moral virtue
~a fruit of the Spirit; kindness, benevolence of nature, mercy, favor shown
Francis Bacon calls goodness the greatest of all virtues, and dignities because it is the very character of God. He surmised that goodness answers to charity and can have no excess. Other virtues can be tainted with the desire for more, but not goodness. God’s goodness, above all, is not limited to those of the elect but “the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
Mat_5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Rom_2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Psa_107:31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
One of the most important things we as humans can do is to name God’s goodness. For those with the imagination to name God’s goodness is life to the fullest. Like Pollyanna we must play a glad game, and like Anne of Green Gables we must find the place where there is scope for the imagination, and name our “white way of delight” in Christ. The Bible is the place with this endless scope for our imagination, and ours is limited when we fail to read His Word.
“T o name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God. To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.” ( Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy (Crestwood, N.Y.:St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1973), 15.)
In this naming He awakens new desires, desires that come from Him, and He delights to fill them as long as I recognize their origin. We must learn to recognize the origin of good, and name that good. To tell others of that good, give its name. It fulfills our purpose, to glorify God.