While standing in a line waiting to place an order, I overheard a couple of men talking about the word “good.” One of them said: “If you shot a person at a distance of 100 yards, you might be a good shot, but would you be a good person?”
Although I did not wait to hear the reply to the question, it did remind me of Proverbs 3:27: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”
Matthew Henry offered this comment on doing good: “Wherever the Providence of God casts us, we should desire and endeavor to be useful; and, when we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can.”
The Bible is full of statements that associate “good” deeds with the Christian life:
- Ephesians 2:10: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
- Galatians 6:9-10: So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.
When Paul wrote to the Christians living in Rome, he encouraged them to do the good they could, and he provided them a list (12:9-21):
- Be sincere in your love.
- Detest evil and cling to what is good.
- Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.
- Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.
- Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.
- Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble.
- Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Paul summarized and ended his list with these words: “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.”
Think about the way you live your life: Is it defined by evil or good? Do you impede with your greed and mislead or is your life characterized by good deeds?
I’ll close with these words from Saint Basil: “A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”