Good Christian Girl, Stop Finding Worth in Your Goodness

By: Bethany Baird

I’m her. I’m the good girl.

The girl who was born into a Christian home. The girl who memorized John 3:16 as soon as she could speak. The girl who never went through a rebellious stage. The girl who never had a boyfriend in high school and never dated around.

Yep, that’s me. The good girl.

I’m not bashing my good-girl-ness and I’m not boasting in it either. I’m just telling you that that’s my story. I have the “good girl” story.

Here’s the other side of the good girl coin. If you’re a good girl, you can probably relate. Somehow along the journey of life, the Enemy creeps in and begins feeding us “good girls” a bunch of lies.


Your worth is found in your goodness.

Better keep up that good girl reputation.

You better not commit a major sin or else you will be worthless.

What would people think of you if you did anything wrong?

Jesus died for you…but only because you were already good.

Your identity is found in your behavior.

You are only valuable because you are pure and moral.

On and on the list goes….

I’ll be the first to admit that I, as a good girl, totally believed and lived under the weight of those lies. The lies that somehow my worth and identity was defined by my goodness. I was carrying a burden and weight that God never intended for me to carry. In fact, that’s the very reason Jesus came to earth. He came to die for me so that I could live and walk in freedom from the weight.

Thankfully, one warm summer day, God opened my eyes.

The weight of my “non-goodness” hit me square between the eyes. My heart felt heavy and burdened. At twenty-four years old, I was beginning to see my sin and brokenness in a whole new way. And it was freeing.

God’s gift of salvation was beginning to make more and more sense in my mind. Although I’d believed and received Jesus Christ early on in life, this was a monumental turning point for my relationship with God.

Instead of trying to keep up my goodness (for the sake of finding my worth in it) I more fully understood that Jesus died for me.

Jesus didn’t give up his life for me because I was perfect, He gave it up because I was broken.

I was realizing more and more that I no longer needed to maintain my goodness to maintain my worth. I was so fully loved by Jesus in spite of my sin. Jesus knows I need grace and mercy. He isn’t surprised by that. He died because I so needed Him.

This might sound basic to some of you, but it really hit me in a new way that afternoon.

My prayer is that this blog might hit some of you in a new way too. I want to take some time to share four truths that I believe every “good girl” needs to hear.

Four Truths for the Good Girl:

1. Understand that Christ Died for You, a Sinner.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). Ephesians 2:4-5

Jesus didn’t come to save perfect people. He came to save lost, hurting, broken and needy people. He didn’t pay a partial price for you, He paid the full price. He paid the entire debt of our sin on the cross. We don’t need to earn our salvation, Christ did that over two thousand years ago.

2. Accept His Goodness instead of Trying to Prove Your Own.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus is perfect. We are not. Let’s quit trying to prove our goodness in his eyes. Let’s stop trying to show Him that we are “worthy.” Instead of trying to earn our worth, or prove our goodness, let’s just accept His goodness. He’s the good good Father, not us. Let’s just joyfully and freely bask in His love and goodness towards us. We can stop trying to find our identity in our goodness and finally just accept the new identity He’s given to us.

3. Express Gratitude for God’s Gift of Salvation.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:1-5

Take some time to just stop and thank God for His amazing gift of Salvation. Our God is so compassionate and gracious towards us. He gave everything for us. He loves us so much. We need to spend more time focusing on Him. The more we focus on Him, the less we will focus on ourselves. Focusing on Him will help to remind us that we have an amazing and all-loving Savior.

4. Reject All of the Lies from the Enemy.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

The enemy so wants us to live under the weight of our own goodness. He wants us to believe every lie He can come up with about our identity. He does not want us to find freedom in Jesus. Let’s be on guard and watch for the lies. Let’s reject anything that does not line up with Scripture. Take every thought captive and make sure it aligns with God’s truth. Don’t allow Satan to hold you to a standard that God does not hold you to. Be watchful and keep an eye out for lies.

Wrapping it up.

If you consider yourself to be a “good girl” I hope and pray you surrender that title to Jesus. None of us are truly “good girls.” We are all sinners in need of a Savior. The more we truly understand the gospel and our need for Jesus, the more free we will become. The less we try to maintain a certain image, the more we will embrace our new identity as a child of God.

I encourage you to surrender your “good girl” identity to Jesus. Instead, embrace your identity as a daughter of God and walk in the grace and mercy that He daily offers you.

Do I have any “good girls” out there?

How many of you have identified yourself as a “good girl?”

How has your perspective changed since reading this blog? Anything you would add?


good girl

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  • Co

    I’ve struggled with this a lot and I know a few of my friends have as well. One of my friends recommended the book Grace For the Good Girl to me. I haven’t read it yet, but uit looks like a good read. Have you read that book?

    • Erika

      No, but I want to look into the book too now!

  • Heather

    I completely relate to this. Thank you for sharing it! It’s also super easy as a “good girl” to hear a sermon, or read an article, etc, and think “oh I hope so-and-so reads this because they’re doing all these things I’m not” almost in an “look at how much better I am”, and because we focus so much on our own goodness and the faults of others, we are in danger of completely missing what God might say to US.

  • Caroline Oliveira

    The title of Good Girl is so heavy that when we down in sin, the fault becomes so many big. All of us needs grace of Jesus, everyday. He wins for us!

  • Jade Okanlawon

    I’ve even noticed that being labelled the “good girl” makes it harder to confess your “secret” sins. I am still as broken as everyone else

    • That is so so true!! Praying God helps us find true freedom as “good girls”

    • Malgorzata Kleczkowska

      Me too. I have often felt that I can’t talk to others about my problems with fighting sexual fantasies or other sins because I’m the “good girl”. Although actually they’re not so shocked as I thought they would be when I actually do it 🙂

  • Bella D.

    Thank you for this, Bethany! I’m a good girl, but that doesn’t make my heart clean and pure. It only means that I’m not doing some of the stuff the other girls are bold enough to do.

  • Shanae B

    I was labeled as a good girl when I was 8 years old. In my teens years people would compare some of my siblings (when they’d act rebellious or something) and even other kids to me saying you should be or act like her, she’d never do that. That always upset me, and still does. It totally made me maintain my “goodness”, and be overly cautious to not do anything “bad.” My turn around moment happened around the time I graduated high school. Very true, thanks for posting!

  • Maddy K

    Man, this one really hit home for me. It is so easy to believe we are valued by the ‘good girl weight ‘ and so easy do pretend we measure up, but really fall so far. It is my prayer that all the ‘ good girls’ ( including myself! ) would all accept God’s grace and stop pretending to measure up, believing Satan’s lies in the process.

  • Manda Lore H.

    I often define and place value on myself based on my innocence, and devalue myself whenever I inevitably become less innocent as I grow up in a fallen world. This article was a really good reminder that our worth is defined by him and not by our own works, not by what we have done, but by what he has given us.

    • Amen! It really is all about what He has done! <3

  • Karen Arantxa

    Bethany, this is so, so, so good! Oh my gosh, I truly needed to read this today! My entire life, I have also identified as the “good girl.” I think that the older I have gotten, the more I tried to stick with that title. But the more and more I learn about Jesus, the more and more I realize that being a “good girl” is just a title. Your post reminded me of a post that Laney Redmond wrote on the Live Original blog. Your stories are both so different yet you learned the same thing: we cannot base our salvation on our goodness or spend our entire life trying to earn God’s grace as that is never going to happen. Jesus died for our sins regardless of how “good” we say we are. Thank you for sharing this, my heart needed a reminder. And I pray that anyone reading this today realizes this incredible truth.

  • Maddy G

    Thank you for this post! God has really been working on my heart lately about this. What an awesome reminder that we all need God`s grace each and every day, and that our true worth is found not in who we are or what we do, but in who Christ is and what he has done!

  • Erin

    Crazily enough, this is the topic of my Bible Study tonight for our young girls group at church tonight. Just confirmation for me that this topic and all that it entails is right and relevant for such a time as this. It’s amazing how God works

  • Krystel Lumacad

    This is so true! Thank you so much for this post. I can relate to this “good girl” image. And I don’t know how to react every time I am labeled as a good girl. In my heart I know I am not and I am also a sinner. Every now and then I have to guard myself from my thoughts and my heart from any pride coming from this “good girl” reputation. I know I have a long way to go and I know this blog has been a great help for me. Thanks!

  • Lauren

    WOW. This hits my heart on such a deep level. As a Christian who grew up in the church and surrounded by parents who taught my sister and I about Jesus so young, we’ve always believed that God loves us. Yet as I’ve grown up, I see that I shame myself for not living up to the “good girl” persona and shaming myself for any misstep I take. But Jesus is right thre net to me, holding me up and telling me that He cares, and that I can rely on His righteousness, because it’s not mine to achieve.

  • Michaela

    I literally have written those words „good girl“ in my journal before. I have struggled with thinking I had to keep up appearances. I am a pastor‘s kid of two generations and Iknow that I struggle with pride in the areas you named. Thanks for the post Bethany!

  • Anna Kae

    So often I forget that my “goodness” can not come from my actions, but only from Jesus. I need to work on rejecting the lies of the enemy. Thank you for the post, Bethany!

  • Camilla

    Thank You so much for this. Really needed to hear this, for real!

  • <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 SO GOOD!!!!

    Our worth is found in Christ and Christ alone, not in ANYTHING we have done!!

  • Erika

    Wow this was really eye opening, thanks Bethany! I never thought that it could be something bad to be “good”, that the devil could actually use it to lie to us, letting us sin in our hearts! I want to live a life that pleases my Saviour because He gave HIS LIFE for ME!

  • Hannah Brown

    I can definitely relate to the “good girl” way of life. I never thought that being a good girl could ever become a problem, until I read this blog. Thank you for opening my eyes to the reality that I don’t need to be perfect in order to receive God’s grace!

  • Mia

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Having grown up in strong, Christian family, I too have fallen into the “good girl” syndrome, and it wasn’t until I started struggling with an addiction in high school that I realized the consequences of the poor thinking that accompanies that syndrome. Your article is such an encouragement! I hope other readers find freedom from this kind of thinking as well.

  • Ainsley

    Definitely needed to read this! I struggle so much with it. Thank you for this post <3

  • BaddestBinchOnTheBlock

    All the good christian girls love to post pics of their Starbucks drinks with the caption “29 years sober-minded”. If you think you know more than you actually do, that means you’re wise in the eyes. The good thing about being sober-minded is that you’ll never get high on life. You have to watch out for that, it’s no good having too much joy in your fountain. Guess what? The Bush administration faked Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus’s last name is Rothschild and his death (also fake!) was actually an important step in the establishment of the New World Order. If you watch the video of the resurrection on Youtube, you’ll see the shadow of a camera at 9:11. Coincidence? Think about it.

  • Hannah Pate

    Thank you! This was very encouraging and eye opening.

  • Molly Lamese

    I also suffered from the good girl lie. And worse I would judge others as not being as good as me. Until one day the Holy Spirit said “If you like comparing yourself to others and finding them lacking, then try comparing yourself to Jesus”. That really hit home for me. Now whenever I start having such thoughts I just compare myself to Jesus and that sobers me up and makes me so, so grateful that Jesus died for sinners like me.

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