In the final scene of the Steven Spielberg movie, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, we see E.T. saying goodbye to Elliot, Michael, and Gertie, the children who cared for him when he was left behind by his spacecraft. In this tender and touching scene (which, I’ll admit, brings tears to my eyes), E.T. looks at Gertie, played by Drew Barrymore, and says, “Be good.” Just as Gertie was called by E.T. to “be good,” we, as believers, are called to “be good” by God.
God, Himself is good. There is no doubt about that. His goodness is proclaimed throughout Scripture. Psalm 34:8 tells us to taste and see that God is good. In Nahum 1:7, we read that God is good, that He is a fortress in times of distress and protects those who come to Him seeking refuge. And Psalm 145:9 says that God is good not just to some, but to all, and has compassion on all that He has made. God’s goodness is eternal (Psalm 23:6).
As God’s children, we are called to emulate God’s goodness (3 John 11). Goodness is a fruit of the Spirit, a characteristic that a follower of Christ should seek to cultivate (Galatians 5:22). In his second letter to the Thessalonian believers, Paul said that his prayer for them was that God would make them worthy of His calling and that through the power of God, they would desire goodness. We must never neglect to do good, generously sharing what we have with others. The generosity that we demonstrate by doing good for others is a sacrifice, an offering of worship, that God is pleased with (Hebrews 13:16).
When we display goodness in our lives, it will be evident in the fruit that we bear. We will be like a tree that bears good fruit (Matthew 7:17-19). That good fruit will show through the manner in which we treat others, our generosity towards others (1 Timothy 6:18), and through our words. And when we bear good fruit, the fruit that we bear will produce life as others are brought into God’s kingdom as a result of our actions or our words (Proverbs 11:30).