“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. (Mark 10:18)

When Jesus questions someone calling Him good, what hope have we in manifesting goodness in our lives?

It is a striking reminder of the standard against which we must be measured. All are capable of both good and evil, but reflecting the true goodness of God our Father is only possible through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 7:18-19; 8:13-15) It is a very transformation of our character to not only desire the good that is God’s will, but also to actively exhibit that good in our lives and avoid all evil.

Perhaps this is part of Jesus’ objection to being called good, for many are called good without the ability to know their hearts. Instead, we are called to reflect God in His revelation of good rather than it merely being a fleeting appellation. In a cursory search, it doesn’t seem the word “good” is even used to refer to God until Exodus 33:19, but clearly all that has been revealed of God prior to that — from creation to the salvation of man through Noah’s family to His covenant with Abram to His guiding of Joseph’s life to the exodus to the reestablishment of His covenant people and so much more — we see that God is good so much more than if we had simply been told this and been expected to believe it at face value.

How, then, is this fruit being manifested in your own life? Do the things that cause people to see you as “good” flow from a right motivation, — that “inward devotion and love toward God” that will ultimately reveal the God we serve to others so they can see beyond our apparent goodness to the One that alone is good?