One of our favorite examples of “goodness” in sports occurred during a Western Oregon versus Central Washington women’s college softball game.
Western Oregon’s right-fielder Sara Tucholsky hit her first-ever home run and tore a ligament in her right knee. As she was rounding first base, she was left crawling in the dirt, unable to make it back to first base.
The umpires huddled together and ruled that a pinch runner could replace her at first base, resulting in a two-run single.
But then it happened.
Two opposing players from Central Washington ran from their dugout, lifted Tucholsky, and carried her around the bases. Players from both dugouts had tears streaming down their faces.
This is a prime example of goodness: Doing what’s right, even if it means sacrificing the final score. It doesn’t matter if it’s in front of a crowd or just an audience of one.
Goodness is not just about doing good things. It’s doing good when it’s risky, and you have nothing to gain personally. But what is right? What is good? Is it simply what we think?
It’s easy to see how chaotic it would be if everyone were to decide for themselves what was good and right. The good news is His Word provides us a guide.
Micah 6:8 (NIV) says,
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
Let’s break down each aspect of this passage and take a closer look.
1. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good…”
The Greek word agathosune doesn’t just refer to goodness as an attitude or a motivation, but a lifestyle characterized by virtue and helpfulness.
2. “To act justly…”
This means to live according to justice and do what’s right. Are there sins I need to confess? Am I living by God’s moral law? Is there anyone I need to forgive?
3. “And to love mercy…”
Do I live in such a way where I put people first? Am I merciful when I have the power to help others? Do I only help when it’s convenient?
4. “…and to walk humbly with our God.”
Humility and pride are like oil and water. They don’t mix well, especially in today’s culture. While pride puffs up, humility allows you to see and meet needs beyond yourself.
As with all fruit of the Spirit, when we walk closer to Him, goodness becomes a natural part of who we are.