by Dorette Saunders
Do parents still teach their children the “Golden Rule”? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The basic premise is this: Do good. Without a doubt our world would be a completely different place if we all practiced this rule.
In one portion of his letter to the Hebrews (13:1-21), the apostle Paul emphasizes that doing good pleases God. And in the event that we dare to ask facetious questions like “To whom should we do good, and what should we do?” the apostle gives us some examples.
~Keep being concerned about each other… (v.1).
~Be sure to welcome strangers into your home… (v.2).
~Remember the Lord's people who are in jail… (v.3).
~Have respect for marriage. Always be faithful to your partner… (v.4).
~Don't fall in love with money. Be satisfied with what you have… (v.5).
~Don't forget about your leaders who taught you God's message… (v.7)
As we look at his examples, we find that they are heart-to-hand actions. We are not doing good to rack up points with God. Our motives and our actions must be pure and align with God’s commands.
Many of us can easily carry out some of these commands. But do we have the same fervor when it comes to being faithful to our spouse? Do we see honoring our marriage vows as pleasing to God? Are we less tolerant with our spouses or family members than we are with strangers?
Do we not “fall in love with money” and the pleasure that it affords us? What if we were to bless someone who is in need with some of what we have? What if we were to look around for an opportunity to share our resources, perhaps even anonymously?
On the other hand, ask yourself if you are truly satisfied with what God has given you. But before you do, begin to count the obvious (and not so obvious) blessings in your life. The results will surprise you.
Scientific studies have shown that doing good triggers healthy, euphoric responses in us. God already knew that. We are just catching up. But seriously, the Bible wouldn’t give us a command just for us to get the fuzzy-wuzzies. Here’s what Jesus says:
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:44,45, KJV).
Did you get that? We are to do good because we are imitators of God. We are God’s children, and God wants us to be like him. Like Father, like sons and daughters! We are to do good even when it hurts, seems impractical, or goes unrewarded.
“Therefore become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]; and walk continually in love [that is, value one another—practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seeking the best for others], just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us…” (Ephesians 5:1,2, Amp. Bible).
So, when we recite the mantra, “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good” perhaps we will now see it in personal terms, not just as another catch phrase. Indeed God is good, but how is God’s goodness to us being transmitted by us to the lives of those around us?
Do good. It’s one practical way in which we can share the gospel and make our lights shine for our Lord.
PRAYER: Lord, help us to do good. Show us opportunities we may be overlooking. Teach us to be tender-hearted toward those who may not share our values or our even faith. Remind us that that they, too, are your children. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.