Striving for goodness is not a quest for sinless perfection. That we shall never accomplish. But God demands that we reach for moral excellence. James the brother of Jesus tells us to quit arguing with God and get on with the process, “for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:20-21). God has saved us by his power and grace, and he will help us to live a good life.
As those who have been rescued from sin and condemnation, it is our duty to tell the world what God has done for us. Peter writes, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9). The word praises is the fourth instance of the word for goodness in Peter’s list in 2 Peter chapter 1. When we assemble for worship, we often ask one another “When is God good?” You know the answer! All the time. We must let the goodness of God be seen through us. Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Paul wrote, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold our the word of life…” (Phil. 2:14-16). In this time of darkness and doubt, we should shine all the brighter.
To be a child of God is the greatest privilege we have, but we also have responsibility. May God bless us all as we work with his Spirit to develop the character the Father expects of his children. TC