The Doing Good Life

The Doing Good Life

Recently, my daily Bible reading in Proverbs reminded me of another passage in James. Both verses teach about doing good when we can.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. -Proverbs 3:27 (NKJV)

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. - James 4:17 (NKJV)

The Western mind automatically translates this into, “If you have enough money to allow you to give some to charity, you should give.” Freely giving money to help spread the Gospel is very important, if for no other reason than to keep our own love of money in check. But I think these verses imply more of a lifestyle rather than an act we perform occasionally. These verses speak of the need to build doing good into daily life.

I think of Jesus and His interactions with lepers. These people likely had deformities that were very unpleasant, but Jesus approached them with love and respect. He also took pity on sinners of all sorts - people who likely had very little in common with him. Jesus helped others patiently, even when they pursued him at times when He was seeking rest.

For me, perhaps doing good is being kind to the lady at the checkout register who can’t seem to handle basic math. Or not honking at the guy who drives too slowly ahead of me, while proudly displaying a collection of annoying bumper stickers. It may be that I should risk having my emotions stirred by getting involved with someone who is in a crisis. This type of thing is really challenging for me. Thinking about it this way makes the old idea of simply giving money sound easier all the time.

I recently heard a sermon by pastor Jack Graham in which he said, “Our number one priority in life as believers in Jesus Christ is to magnify, to glorify His name with our words, with our songs, with our actions.” This quote describes what these verses speak to me. I need to consciously magnify the name of Jesus through my daily actions. This is an area where God is working on me, and quite possibly in every one of us.