Making Do-Gooding A Way of Life
by Lynette Kittle
“Do to others as you would have them do to you” - Luke 6:31
During high school, my husband carried his Bible to every class, wore a big wooden cross around his neck, and led people to Salvation in Jesus Christ in the school hallways. He was known for sharing the Gospel with pretty much everyone he met.
Although some fellow classmates may have avoided his evangelistic outreaches, he was also known for reaching out in kindness and compassion to the students who were outcasts. He befriended those who were being teased, made fun of, isolated, left out, and treated poorly by other classmates.
Even if some students may not have wanted what he was offering spiritually, they noticed his compassionate and kind do-gooding to fellow classmates. “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people (1 Peter 2:15).
Jesus the Do-Gooder
Acts 10:38 describes how Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power went around doing good. Although Scripture gives us only a glimpse of all the good things Jesus did while on earth, John 21:25 reports, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” Likewise, God has prepared all believers to do good things, too.
Ephesians 2:10, explains, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Sometimes as Christians we tend to go around doing things when it’s convenient for us, or when it feels right to us. Yet how many of us stop to ask God to show us and lead us to the good works He has already planned for us to do?
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Because our words sometimes fall away pretty quickly, do-gooding has the potential to speak volumes to those around us, especially when done with humility. Philippians 2:3, urges, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” As well like most things in life, how we do things sometimes speaks louder than what we do. If we’re going around doing things trying to score points with God, and with people, then our do-gooding loses its effectiveness.
However if like 1 Peter 4:8 urges, we do-good from a heart that loves God and loves others, our actions have limitless potential to touch not only the heart of God but also the hearts of those around us. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” Like most we probably don’t enjoy when people do things for us out of obligation, or fear, or for public recognition, or for gaining something in return. So as God’s Word urges, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31).
A Few Pointers to Do-Gooding
So for those who may be a little rusty in do-gooding, God’s word gives us a few pointers in how to start.
1. Ask God to reveal His plans. Because God’s Word tells us He has already prepared good works for us to do, we can ask God to lead us in doing good. We can ask Him to point out to us what to do and how to do it. We can ask God to direct our steps and to help us to lean on His understanding over our own, in seeking to do good (Proverbs 3:5).
2. Just do it. Galatians 6:10 encourages, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Instead of keeping score and adding up our do-gooding points, we’re encouraged to be generous to all people, including non-believers and especially to fellow believers.
3. Avoid being a showboat. Jesus in Matthew 6:1 cautioned us to, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” He encourages our do-gooding to be in secret over tooting our own horns and looking to be publicly honored. By doing so, we can take joy in knowing God sees and will reward us (Matthew 6:2-4).
Because showing off our good works robs us from receiving God’s rewards, it’s better to do whatever we do, whether in word or deed, all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossian 3:17).
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Ask God to lead you this week in accomplishing the good works He already has prepared for you, opening your eyes and ears to see and hear what He has already prepared for you to do.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Daisy
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.
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