Week 48: What makes someone a good person?

So far on our journey through Galatians 5:22-23, we’ve explored the first five fruits of the Spirit. Can you name them? We’ve learned that God’s definitions of words like love and joy are often different from ours. Well, the same thing is true of this week’s word: goodness. One of the earliest lessons we learn in life is the difference between good and bad, but the Bible has some surprising things to say about being good. This week’s devotion will help us answer the question, “What makes someone a good person?”

Be ready to read the following passages:

Let’s start it.

Discuss with your family what you think makes someone a good person

Let’s learn it.

Did members of your family have differing opinions about what makes someone a good person? If so, then you’re not alone. Some people think we’re born basically good, while others think that what happens in your life determines if you’ll do good or bad things. But what does the Bible say? Well, when a young man wanted to get to Heaven by doing good things, Jesus told him that only one Person is good – God (Matthew 19:16-17). Now let’s see what we learn about God’s goodness from Moses’ experience in Exodus 33:18-22.

God’s goodness is His absolute perfection, which is revealed through His glory. Can you imagine how powerful His glory must be that God had to protect Moses when He passed by? So, anything good cannot have any trace of evil. Does that mean you have to be perfect to be a good person? Not even the Apostle Paul thought he was a good person! Take a look at what he wrote in Romans 3:10-12, 23 and 7:18.

Bad news – not one of us can measure up to God’s standard of perfection because no one is born good or righteous. The first part of the word righteous explains this part of God’s character – He is perfect and what He does is always right. However, we are not perfect, and we do not always do what is right. Now, check out the good news in Romans 3:21-22.

If you have received Jesus as your Savior, then the goodness of God is within you, helping you to make right choices and do good things. You’re not a good person because you do good things; you can do good things because you have received the righteousness God has provided in Jesus Christ.

Let’s discuss it.

  1. Revisit your discussion about what makes someone a good person. Based on what we’ve just learned from Scripture, how has your opinion changed?
  2. How do you think the spiritual fruit of goodness is different from what the world thinks is good?

Let’s do it.

In order to receive the goodness of God, you must first understand that you have no goodness of your own. God isn’t trying to make you feel guilty or to make you feel bad by saying that you were born sinful. What’s harmful is to remain in your sin and be separated from God forever.

In 2 Corinthians 5:21 we read that “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Have you accepted Jesus’ payment for your sin? If so, then you are a new creation in Christ; your life is completely changed (2 Corinthians 5:17). As a new, righteous creation in Christ, you can share God’s goodness with the people around you. How will others experience the goodness of God through your actions this week?