The Goodness of God

Autumn leaves scattered alongside a puddle on a sidewalk

“Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
— Psalm 34:8



“Good” is an overused word. We say it at least four times a day—morning, afternoon, evening, and night—in marking the passing of a twenty-four period. It serves as our default descriptor for a wide variety of experiences—from a good cup of coffee to a good job to a good answer to a good movie. For most of us, being a good person serves as the ideal standard for who we want to be and how we evaluate others.

But what does “good” actually mean? Ultimately, what defines the criteria for goodness?

Repeatedly the Bible declares our understanding of that which is good comes from God. We look to our Creator as the source, the model, and the means by which we both can experience and practice goodness. God’s goodness is evidenced by the revelation of God’s provision, presence, and promise to humanity.

The genesis of what is good emerges from the story of life’s beginning. With each successive layer of creation—from the first emergence of light to the separation of the land and the sea, all the way to the dawn of humankind—the Bible declares, “And it was good.” Goodness is reflected in a Creator who brings forth life not out of randomness or by accident but through careful design and with purpose. Out of the chaos of nothingness, God spoke all existence into being not to fend for itself but to be cared for by God’s continued provision.

The intricate yet delicate precision by which the planets and the stars maintain their orbits. The beautiful predictability of the rising and setting of the sun. The cathartic rhythms of the coming and going of the seasons. The poignant circle of life in which nothing is wasted; in which even in decline and death fosters the potential for something new. From the very air we breathe to the bountiful harvests of crops that offer us sustenance, goodness is witnessed in a Creator who not only gives but also nurtures life’s flourishing.

That which is good is not limited to what is useful—fulfilling the purpose for which it was designed. The goodness of God reaches beyond provision alone. In the character of our Creator, we also discover a deeper awareness of that which is life-affirming to all. The fundamental reason God creates is to be in an active relationship with creation—particularly with us. Not out of any inherent need but instead out of both desire and delight, our Creator seeks to be present and commune with humanity. Goodness is realized in the untiring initiative and effort of the God who seeks to teach and lead us into what is beneficial for all life.

The commitment of such steadfast and faithful love is offered without condition or limit. Our Creator’s generosity overflows, not constrained by what we can return or repay. Indeed, God’s blessings consistently extend beyond what we deserve.

Even if we despoil the creation to which we have been entrusted, take for granted the blessings afforded to us, and reject the ways that make for harmony and peace, God remains in relentless pursuit. Goodness is embodied in our Creator who does not shy away from coming down to meet us face-to-face—being present in the brokenness of our failures and the messes we make. In an act of mercy and in the name of forgiveness, God does not hesitate in willingly bearing all our burdens even to the point of death—turning an otherwise dark day into Good Friday.

But the goodness of God does not cease with a divine, sacrificial offering for all the world. As a seemingly insurmountable dead end is eclipsed by resurrection, what is good is further informed by the promise that failure never need be final. That hope remains even when all appears lost.

Knowing the God who is good implies sharing the goodness of God with others. More than in word but always in deed. For goodness is part of the fruit of the Spirit. What then is good? Being present. Providing for those in need. Reflecting the promise of divine, radical, undying, and unselfish love to our neighbor, a stranger, and even our enemy. Together in following the God who is called our Good Shepherd, we will be led not only into the redemption of tomorrow but into the surety of goodness and mercy all the days of our life.



Words: Chris Tweitmann

Photography: Sajad Nori, Rez Photography

Autumn leaves scattered alongside a puddle on the sidewalk
Two orange maple leaves against a teal background
An orange maple leaf against a rainy window

“Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” — Psalm 34:8



“Good” is an overused word. We say it at least four times a day—morning, afternoon, evening, and night—in marking the passing of a twenty-four period. It serves as our default descriptor for a wide variety of experiences—from a good cup of coffee to a good job to a good answer to a good movie. For most of us, being a good person serves as the ideal standard for who we want to be and how we evaluate others.

But what does “good” actually mean? Ultimately, what defines the criteria for goodness?

Repeatedly the Bible declares our understanding of that which is good comes from God. We look to our Creator as the source, the model, and the means by which we both can experience and practice goodness. God’s goodness is evidenced by the revelation of God’s provision, presence, and promise to humanity.

The genesis of what is good emerges from the story of life’s beginning. With each successive layer of creation—from the first emergence of light to the separation of the land and the sea, all the way to the dawn of humankind—the Bible declares, “And it was good.” Goodness is reflected in a Creator who brings forth life not out of randomness or by accident but through careful design and with purpose. Out of the chaos of nothingness, God spoke all existence into being not to fend for itself but to be cared for by God’s continued provision.

The intricate yet delicate precision by which the planets and the stars maintain their orbits. The beautiful predictability of the rising and setting of the sun. The cathartic rhythms of the coming and going of the seasons. The poignant circle of life in which nothing is wasted; in which even in decline and death fosters the potential for something new. From the very air we breathe to the bountiful harvests of crops that offer us sustenance, goodness is witnessed in a Creator who not only gives but also nurtures life’s flourishing.

That which is good is not limited to what is useful—fulfilling the purpose for which it was designed. The goodness of God reaches beyond provision alone. In the character of our Creator, we also discover a deeper awareness of that which is life-affirming to all. The fundamental reason God creates is to be in an active relationship with creation—particularly with us. Not out of any inherent need but instead out of both desire and delight, our Creator seeks to be present and commune with humanity. Goodness is realized in the untiring initiative and effort of the God who seeks to teach and lead us into what is beneficial for all life.

The commitment of such steadfast and faithful love is offered without condition or limit. Our Creator’s generosity overflows, not constrained by what we can return or repay. Indeed, God’s blessings consistently extend beyond what we deserve.

Even if we despoil the creation to which we have been entrusted, take for granted the blessings afforded to us, and reject the ways that make for harmony and peace, God remains in relentless pursuit. Goodness is embodied in our Creator who does not shy away from coming down to meet us face-to-face—being present in the brokenness of our failures and the messes we make. In an act of mercy and in the name of forgiveness, God does not hesitate in willingly bearing all our burdens even to the point of death—turning an otherwise dark day into Good Friday.

But the goodness of God does not cease with a divine, sacrificial offering for all the world. As a seemingly insurmountable dead end is eclipsed by resurrection, what is good is further informed by the promise that failure never need be final. That hope remains even when all appears lost.

Knowing the God who is good implies sharing the goodness of God with others. More than in word but always in deed. For goodness is part of the fruit of the Spirit. What then is good? Being present. Providing for those in need. Reflecting the promise of divine, radical, undying, and unselfish love to our neighbor, a stranger, and even our enemy. Together in following the God who is called our Good Shepherd, we will be led not only into the redemption of tomorrow but into the surety of goodness and mercy all the days of our life.



Words: Chris Tweitmann

Photography: Sajad Nori, Rez Photography

A maple leaf against a rainy window

Additional readings

Finding God in Mystery and Wonder

How mystery and wonder invites us to seek God in newer and deeper ways.

On Relinquishing Control, A Prayer for Anxiety

Reflective thoughts and study of Philippians 4:6-7 on how God is in control in the midst of anxiety.

Creativity as Devotional Practice

A reflection on how we can approach the creative process as a devotional practice.

Adaobi Ugoagu Is On A Mission

We talk with fashion blogger/model Adaobi Ugoagu about the intersection of fashion, art and justice.


Additional readings

Finding God in Mystery and Wonder

How mystery and wonder invites us to seek God in newer and deeper ways.

On Relinquishing Control, A Prayer for Anxiety

Reflective thoughts and study of Philippians 4:6-7 on how God is in control in the midst of anxiety.

Creativity as Devotional Practice

A reflection on how we can approach the creative process as a devotional practice.

Adaobi Ugoagu Is On A Mission

We talk with fashion blogger/model Adaobi Ugoagu about the intersection of fashion, art and justice.