The Good

Good is “…”valid; legally firm; not weak or defective; having strength adequate to its support; sound; not weak, false or fallacious; complete or sufficiently perfect in its kind; having the physical qualities best adapted to its design and use; opposed to bad, imperfect, corrupted, impaired. ’And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good.’ Genesis 1:4. Having moral qualities best adapted to its design and use, or the qualities which God’s law requires; virtuous; pious; religious; applied to persons, and opposed to bad, vitious, wicked, evil. Conformable to the moral law; virtuous; applied to actions. ’In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works.’ Titus 2:3. Sound; perfect; uncorrupted; undamaged. This fruit will keep good the whole year.”—Webster’s American Dictionary
  Good is “being positive or desirable in nature; having the qualities that are desirable or distinguishing in a particular thing; in excellent condition; sound; superior to the average; satisfactory.” The good is “that which is morally proper or fitting, right, goodness, righteousness, moral excellence, virtue.” Antonyms to “good” include wrong, sin, evil and immorality.—Oxford English Dictionary

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”—1 Thessalonians 5:21

God is the good, the whole, the pure, the perfect, the complete. Good is the fully integrated and sound, in perfect alignment with God. Good is God’s name on earth, which is why we declare things “good and very good.” The Good is an absolute principle: God is the absolute ultimate GOOD. The good is also an abstract principle, a law of being, a law of doing, and a virtue.

Edna Lister on the Good

Always put your best into what you do. Do not postpone the good in your consciousness. Since you must share the good, you must first get the good and pass it on.—Edna Lister, December 2, 1933.

Sustained attention on the good leads to new discovering; continuous attention to the good brings revelation. Paying sustained and continuous attention to the good means attainment in reality.—Edna Lister, Attainment, November 7, 1934.

Allow only the good, the very good, only Light, the very Light in your kingdom. Pronounce all things good and very good.—Edna Lister, October 25, 1938.

Consider only the Light. Name everything perfect. See only the good and just.—Edna Lister, November 6, 1940.

Seek the good in each other, and lift the other when by any chance he turns from the Light even for an instant. Turn speedily to the Light again and seek only to lift.—Edna Lister, October 16, 1941.

After you have learned your lesson, review it repeatedly, extracting all the good while deliberately casting the chaff, the hurt, the grief into the consuming fire of Mother love, so nothing can remain underneath the surface in the subconscious to pull you down later.—Edna Lister, June 5, 1944.

God has given us the power of right choice. To cast the self upon the altar of Light, while loving God with a great and a mighty love is always the one right choice for each hour’s problem. As you love God and wait upon Him in praise, He releases enough Power to melt the problem. He acts upon it with the love you give Him, which He returns to you as a searing, consuming fire to burn away all limitations, until only the good remains.
  The only “bad” of any problem is in your own consuming and to-the-self emotions and thinking. This self-emotion and thinking consume the “good” at the heart of each problem, searing the whole problem black, leaving only charred embers and ashes. The love of God, so returned to you after you have cast self upon His altar in love, consumes only the darkness, leaving in its place the glory of Light and love. He does all the work while you are cast upon the altar, waiting upon the Lord, serving Him in praise, and when you return to earth, all we find is perfection.—Edna Lister, January 10, 1945.

Most people will say, “You have to face the facts,” rather than facing the Light of eternity. Earthly facts are merely appearances. The truth of reality is right before you, staring you in the face. All you need to say is, “This is Good! Let there be Light!”—Edna Lister, The Three Phases of Life Through Faith, April 20, 1947.

If you call “it” good, God can turn the confusion and destruction into glory.—Edna Lister, To Seek the Light, June 10, 1951.

Make yourself good; choose the good for yourself, let go and let God do the work.—Edna Lister, Forgiveness, the Path of Glory, October 21, 1951.

When you call someone good, you are calling him God-like because good is His action on earth.—Edna Lister, The Golden Chalice, September 21, 1952.

Genesis reveals the keynote of the Creator: To declare darkness good. God is God’s name above; good is God’s name on earth. An attitude of joy, and the ability to call God’s name as good upon our creations, instantly invokes the same Light that makes the invisible visible. Invoke the truth that Light overcomes all darkness.—Edna Lister, The Magic in the Sky, October 5, 1952.

Ignore the truth of appearances; declare the good and depend on God to fulfill it.—Edna Lister, A Design for Living, November 16, 1952.

You are responsible for everything that comes into your life. Consciously or unconsciously, you create both the good and the less-good. You can discover what lessons you came to earth to learn only by understanding the reason for your less-good creations. To accept full responsibility for creating a less-good, to change from indifferent and lukewarm ways of creating, allows your aspiration to soar high above old ways, for you have well-learned one of earth’s many lessons. When a less-good visits you repeatedly, until you grow tired of being at its mercy, it is the soul crying,Move up in consciousness!”—Edna Lister, Faith, the Challenger, 1953.

“Good” is God’s name for material things, too.—Edna Lister, Success Through Prayer, July 7, 1953.

You feel so good inside when you love the good rather than to hate the evil.—Edna Lister, August 4, 1955.

Defeat expects the bad. Success expects the good.—Edna Lister, Defeat or Success? September 25, 1955.

The good in the world is the sum of our love.—Edna Lister, I Am the Light of the World, January 1, 1956.

You prove all things by holding fast to the good until you do see what you have created.—Edna Lister, Daring to Do, April 22, 1956.

A healed, lifted subconscious is a good servant. You lift the good subconscious memories first and they become part of soul. Good thoughts are ascended and added to soul experience.—Edna Lister, June 18, 1956.

Remember the good things, not the negatives. Dramatize the good, talk about only the good, the funny, the joyous and family and we so infiltrate others with Light that they forget to do what they did before.—Edna Lister, Nor Shadow of Turning, July 15, 1956.

It only takes a small fear to dilute the good.—Edna Lister, December 17, 1956.

Last year’s good is not good enough for this year.—Edna Lister, Life Immortal Now, March 30, 1958.

Your choices, when you walk the Way of the Christ, are to be a brother to all, lift evil, declare the good, and balance the scales twenty-four hours a day.—Edna Lister, As I See the World, June 15, 1958.

God named every life spark good when He created it. When you want a healing, ignore the appearance of the illness, and say, “You are good life sparks doing your good and perfect work!” They will respond to this declaration, for their name really is good, and they begin to whirl and to increase in their rate of vibration. Call every part of your body good, good, good! Calling the life sparks good is one of the greater mysteries of healing.—Edna Lister, Being Without Self, December 2, 1958.

Hold fast to the good, which is all around you.—Edna Lister, March 17, 1959.

When a lesson is well learned, the time comes to move into another grade. Make notes of the greatest lessons you have learned in this present experience, how they have affected you personally, in your family life, and your relationship to God. Then state in writing the good coming from each episode to clarify your thinking, get your emotions in order, and organize what you know to apply it in what you will do.—Edna Lister, March 26, 1959.

Good is God’s name on earth; He calls every creation good in the first chapter of Genesis, which is why we declare that all that comes to us is good and very good for lifting.—Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

To declare everything good is the secret of having your heaven here and now. God declares each of us good. For us to do less makes our present place less than heavenly.—Edna Lister, Heaven as a State of Consciousness and Heaven as a Place, June 16, 1959.

Good is the Father’s name on earth and the name of every life spark, atom, molecule and cell on earth. “I AM good” lets God use you because it recalls you to your eternal identity with God. Call upon “I AM good” to rise above every negative circumstance.—Edna Lister, Eight Great Powers of Being, June 23, 1959.

Broadcast a recording of love. Love heals your loved ones. Amplify the recording to reach all those on your prayer list. Love reaches out to change them so they no longer resist the good in speech or action.—Edna Lister, Your Philosophy of Freedom, June 28, 1959.

Resurrect the good from every situation.—Edna Lister, What is Symbolism? October 6, 1959.

God declared His creations good. “All things work together for good to those who love God.”—Romans 8:28. To declare things good is the secret of perfect creation.—Edna Lister, Hear, Hearken, Heed and Obey, November 8, 1959.

You are Godlike only insofar as you express the good.—Edna Lister, Tomorrow Is Yours, December 13, 1959.

You are absolutely obligated to conform to the good and just.—Edna Lister, Three Covenants Between God and Man, December 15, 1959.

You are good, but with billions of years to go, you are not yet the ultimate good. The Light of God is upon you. You cannot escape the Light, so you might just as well decide to chasten your self, which means to discipline self to the good words that will keep open the vibration of joy and Light. You have given the best you have allowed yourself to give. You must allow yourself to give a greater good. Declare, “You are good. I AM loves you.”—Edna Lister, May 8, 1960.

Declare “This is good” without looking for what might be right or wrong. Stand, and say, “Let the good go forth.”—Edna Lister, September 8, 1960.

You stand in the Light, not to meditate, but to contemplate the goodness of God.—Edna Lister, When Prayer Is at Work, June 4, 1961.

All that you declare good is named and numbered “good” above.—Edna Lister, When Prayer Is at Work, June 4, 1961.

Self is crying to be converted into the good.—Edna Lister, The Tree of Life, October 15, 1961.

Train your self to declare, “This is good and very good,” repeatedly, and wait to see the good that results.—Edna Lister, October 20, 1961.

“Ever follow that which is good.”—1 Thessalonians 5:15. Good is part of righteousness.—Edna Lister, Song of the Lamb, December 17, 1961.

The good you perform is the best at that moment, according to the level upon which you stand, higher or lower.—Edna Lister, March 29, 1962.

Ignore the truth of appearance. Declare the good and depend upon God to fulfill it.—Edna Lister, Life Triumphant, May 27, 1962.

Keep the good and cast evil into refiner’s fires for purging.—Edna Lister, Many Pearls, Many Treasures, November 25, 1962.

Think the good thought to the person when the spoken Word might be offensive.—Edna Lister, Heaven Is a State of Consciousness, November 19, 1963.

There are as many vibrations of good as there are people.—Edna Lister, Prediction and Prophecy, December 10, 1963.

Your rewards are in proportion to your loving lifting of all that touches you and by your praise increasing the good.—Edna Lister, February 9, 1964.

God has given us a secret weapon that is now changing the balance of power from darkness to Light, from evil to good. This weapon of God-given Power lies in one small four-letter word, GOOD. Good is God’s name upon earth. “I AM good” is the most powerful healing statement you can ever use.—Edna Lister, Miracles, March 2, 1965.

Providence is the divine action that makes real the good.—Edna Lister, Pythagoras: His Three Degrees, June 8, 1965.

When you declare, “You are good!” to someone or something that appears black, the very life sparks respond. Substance knows its name is good because good is the name of God on earth. It knows its way home; it goes. As you say, “This is good! Let there be Light!” you direct Light around this substance that looks dark; then Light lifts and ascends it to angels with censers that collect the life sparks. “You are good and very good,” is an absolutely true statement that calls home the life sparks to be cleansed and sent on their way again.—Edna Lister, Seven Life Ages of Man, November 22, 1966.

While standing in the Light and with the good, you can’t see anything but the Light and the good.—Edna Lister, Order and Diplomacy, June 4, 1967.

The whole world is being forced to face the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and to choose which side it belongs to and will serve. You must know all about evil to be able to choose the good. The so-called "good" people are having their noses rubbed in the obscenities by having to face them in the world. We are returning to our Garden of Eden, but we cannot pass the angel with the flaming sword unless we turn away from the world’s evils and fornications by choice. You are choosing against the evil side of the tree.—Edna Lister, August 24, 1967.

You must move in the direction of the good that you desire. Your good may be right in front of you, unrecognized, yet you can close your door, possibly by a single negative thought. Your good then goes into abeyance, but doesn’t leave. Know that the good is there, waiting to reveal itself to you, and bless it, though you don’t see it yet. You must bless the old before the new can come.—Edna Lister, March 20, 1968.

The world is in dire need of people to stand and hold and declare the glory of God. Let us start now loving the unlovely, seeing only the good, only the positive through this love.—Edna Lister, October 15, 1968.

Never stop speaking the words that will separate the evil from the good.—Edna Lister, August 3, 1969.

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Plato’s Idea of the Good

{Socrates and Glaucon}

“This reality, then, that gives their truth to the objects of knowledge and the power of knowing to the knower, you must say is the idea of good, and you must conceive it as being the cause of knowledge, and of truth in so far as known. Yet fair as they both are, knowledge and truth, in supposing it to be something fairer still than these you will think rightly of it. But as for knowledge and truth, even as in our illustration [509a] it is right to deem light and vision sunlike, but never to think that they are the sun, so here it is right to consider these two their counterparts, as being like the good or boniform, but to think that either of them is the good is not right. Still higher honor belongs to the possession and habit of the good.”

“An inconceivable beauty you speak of," he said, "if it is the source of knowledge and truth, and yet itself surpasses them in beauty. For you surely cannot mean that it is pleasure.”

“Hush,” said I, "but examine the similitude of it still further in this way.”


“The sun, I presume you will say, not only furnishes to visibles the power of visibility but it also provides for their generation and growth and nurture though it is not itself generation.”

“Of course not.”

“In like manner, then, you are to say that the objects of knowledge not only receive from the presence of the good their being known, but their very existence and essence is derived to them from it, though the good itself is not essence but still transcends essence in dignity and surpassing power.”—Plato, Republic 6.508e

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New Testament on the Good

Do good to them that hate you.—Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27.

Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.—Matthew 7:17-20, Luke 6:43-45.

Whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.—Matthew 12:32-37.

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.—Matthew 13:47-50.

The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance—Romans 2:4.

The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.—Romans 7:12.

I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.—Romans 7:18-19.

All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.—Romans 8:28.

Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.—Romans 12:2.

Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.—Romans 12:9.

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.—Romans 12:21.

Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.—Romans 14:16-17.

It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.—Philippians 2:13.

See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.—1 Thessalonians 5:15.

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.—1 Thessalonians 5:21.

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God declared His Creation "good" seven times in Genesis 1: God saw the light, that it was good (Genesis 1:4). God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25). And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.—Genesis 1:31.

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.—Psalms 33:5.

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Laws on the Good in Other Sacred Writings

Love righteousness, think of the Lord with a good heart, and in simplicity of heart seek Him.—Wisdom of Solomon 1:1.

Wisdom, which is the worker of all things, is an understanding spirit holy, One only, manifold, subtle, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good quick, which cannot be letted, ready to do good, kind to man, steadfast, sure, free from care, having all power, overseeing all things, and going through all understanding, pure, and most subtle, spirits.—Wisdom of Solomon 7:22-23.

Wisdom is more moving than any motion: she passes and goes through all things by reason of her pureness, for she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty: therefore no defiled thing can fall into her. She is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of His goodness. Being but One, she can do all things: and remaining in herself, she makes all things new: and in all ages entering into holy souls, she makes them friends of God, and prophets.—Wisdom of Solomon 7:24-27.

The righteous children of good men did sacrifice secretly, and with one consent made a holy law, that the saints should be like partakers of the same good and evil.—Wisdom of Solomon 18:9.

Do not refrain to speak when you can do good, and do not hide your wisdom in her beauty; for by speech, wisdom shall be known, and learning by the word of the tongue.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 4:23-24.

Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the law are of the Lord: love, and the way of good works, are from Him.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 11:15.

There can no good come to him who is always occupied in evil, nor to him who gives no alms.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 12:3.

Give unto the good, and help not the sinner.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 12:7.

The heart of a man changes his countenance, whether it be for good or evil: and a merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 13:25.

Blessed is the man who meditates good things in wisdom, and reasons of holy things by his understanding.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 14:20.

In every good work trust your own soul; for this is the keeping of the commandments.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 32:23.

Four manner of things appear: good and evil, life and death: but the tongue rules over them continually.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 37:18.

They do not go down to Hades, nor have they envy nor groaning nor death within them, but [rather] they rest in Him who is at rest, not striving nor being twisted around the truth. But they themselves are the truth; and the Father is within them, and they are in the Father, being perfect, being undivided in the truly good one, being in no way deficient in anything, but they are set at rest, refreshed in the Spirit.—The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2.

They appear in truth, since they exist in true and eternal life, and speak of the Light which is perfect, and filled with the seed of the Father, and which is in His heart, while his Spirit rejoices in it and glorifies the one in whom it existed, because He is good. And His children are perfect and worthy of His name, for He is the Father; it is children of this kind that He loves.—The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2.

God is pure, immeasurable mind. He is life-giving life. He is a blessedness-giving blessed One. He is knowledge-giving knowledge. He is goodness-giving goodness. He is mercy and redemption-giving mercy. He is grace-giving grace, not because He possesses it, but because He gives the immeasurable, incomprehensible Light.—The Apocryphon of John, Codex III, 10.

A good man brings forth good from his storehouse; an evil man brings forth evil things from his evil storehouse, which is in his heart, and says evil things. For out of the abundance of the heart he brings forth evil things.—Gospel of Thomas, Codex II, 2.

Christ redeemed the good people in the world as well as the evil.—Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left are brothers of one another, inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin.—Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

The rulers [of the world’s darkness, the archons] wanted to deceive man, since they saw that he had a kinship with those that are truly good. They took the name of those that are good and gave it to those that are not good, so that through the names they might deceive humanity and bind them to those that are not good.—Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

This is the doctrine of the perfect: If you desire to become perfect, you shall observe [the laws of Light]; if not, your name is ’Ignorant’, since it is impossible for an intelligent man to dwell with a fool, for the intelligent man is perfect in all wisdom. To the fool, however, the good and bad are the same.—Thomas the Contender, Codex II, 7.

God is ever imperishable and has no likeness to anything; He is unchanging good.—Eugnostos the Blessed, Codices III, 3 and V, 1.

Like a visible voice and flash of lightning will the good be taken up to the Light.—The Dialogue of the Savior, Codex III, 5.

The beginning of the path is love and goodness.—The Dialogue of the Savior, Codex III, 5.

Concerning these things [learning and knowledge] which we have mentioned from the beginning, he [God] perfected them in order that by means of these things he might restrain passions and evils, according to his will. He brought his [man’s] mortal existence into immortality; he [man] became good [and] immortal, just as I have said. For he [God] created [a] two‑fold nature for him: the immortal and the mortal.—Asclepius 21-29, Codex VI, 8.

There is no sin [of the world], but we make sin when we do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin. That is why the Good came into our midst, to the essence of every nature in order to restore it to its root.—Gospel of Mary 4:26-27.

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of good: From Middle English good, god, from Old English gōd ("a good thing, advantage, benefit, gift; good, goodness, welfare; virtue, ability, doughtiness; goods, property, wealth"), from Proto-Germanic gōdą ("goods, belongings").

The Good is an absolute principle, for God is the absolute and ultimate good.

The Good is an abstract principle.

Good is a law of being.

Good is a law of doing.

Good is a soul virtue.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, ed. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Plato. “Republic,” Loeb Classical Library, Vol. 6. Paul Shorey, trans. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1969.

Webster, Noah. Webster’s American Dictionary. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

Recommended Reading

Goodness by F. H. Bradley.

Is Goodness a Quality? by A. E. Taylor.