I don’t believe in good insomuch as I would expect a person’s natural response to be beneficial for everyone–even at his/her own expense.

That’s what we’ve kind of held up as the standard of “good.” Never changing, always doing what is best. Not falling to temptations to be selfish or “bad.”

Yet, even though people have this idea of “goodness,” we still try to say, “I’m a good person.” I don’t think that’s ever true. Goodness doesn’t seem as if it can be a relative measurement–not when it is an absolute in practice. We soften it by saying that humans aren’t perfect and that we are trying our best. That we’re good in relation to everybody else.

But that still isn’t “good.”

Whenever I think about a certain person, I think, “He is a good guy.” But, he really isn’t “good” in terms of good and evil or justice. He isn’t good at all.

So what do I mean when I call him “good”? What do I mean when I look at anyone and willingly declare them “good,” despite knowing that they will/have/can lie, cheat, steal?

I think that the absolute “good” is really a recognition of humility and pride. That in relation to God and even to other people, we aren’t good. But, what I mean when I look at another person and declare him good is that, despite his evil and his propensity for evil, he still tries hard to choose “good.”

That is what matters. Every day, we try hard to choose good, not for our sense of pride, but because we want to love.


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