Jesus said in Mark 10:18. Why do you call me good? There is none good except God alone. That Greek word is agathos. I am not a Greek scholar and at this age, never will be, but I can tell when one Greek word is used and when another is simply by looking at the letters. Here is the difference in this one. God is good whether I get what I want or not. God is good whether life is easy or not. God is good even in the midst of storms and trials and disease and pain. The goodness of God never changes because it is intrinsic to His nature. That’s what that word means. Nothing on the outside of Him affects that goodness. It always is because it is part of who He is. God is good because He is God.
We too often mean a different Greek word when we shout, “God is good.” Kalos means something is good only when it is beautiful, valuable, or useful to the person judging it so. It is an extrinsic quality, affected by circumstances on the outside of it. Thus a person would cease to be “good” in another’s judgment if he became disabled or too ill to work, or if she were no longer beautiful due to age. If the only time I utter the phrase, “God is good,” is when my prayers are answered in a positive way, then that is exactly what I am saying about God. If I were a first century Greek, I would be calling him kalos instead of agathos. He is only good when He is useful to me, just like children who “love” their parents when a wish is fulfilled, but say, “You’re so mean,” when they get a “No.”
So how do we feel about God? Do we understand that He is good simply because He is, or do we feel the right to judge His goodness based on our own desires? The real test of my understanding of the nature of God comes when, in the wake of disaster, I can say along with Job, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (1:21).
Moses said, "Please show me your glory." And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name 'The LORD.' And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy…The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation." And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. Ex 33:18,19; 34:6-8.