Vashti McKenzie

*We would all like to do some good during the time God grants us life. Yet, some who could do good are unsure about when to do good, how long to do the good thing, when do you stop doing good or to whom the doing good is extended.

The Bible encourages us to give to all who ask. But suppose you have nothing to give? The Bible tells us about serving others through the ministry of hospitality because we may be entertaining angels unaware. What about all the “unangel-like” personalities who show up in between? The Bible encourages us to return good for evil but sometimes people get tired of being taken advantage of and returning good is the last thing on their minds.

If we have two coats give one away. You did and now there are twenty others hoping you’ll do the same for them. You’ve given your offering and tithes and now someone is asking you to stretch to do even more.

You are not insensitive to the needs of those around you. You have not forgotten what compassion feels like or how compassion compels you to give to those in need and serve the Lord with gladness at the same time. You may not be sure of the when and how of your response.

There is Biblical encouragement and examples. There is also a sea of role models from the pages of the Holy Scripture and living in the 21st century. After all, wasn’t it written in the gospel of Mark that it was Jesus who went around doing good.

We’d all like to do some good during the time God grants us life. The book of Proverbs offers some help. Proverbs is the practical side of God’s commands. It is a “How-to guide” about how people are to behave and how things work written by someone who has done that and been there. It is wisdom by experience that lines up with God’s instructions on how to live.

1. Your own soul is nourished when you are kind; it is destroyed when you are cruel. (Proverbs 11: 17) It is a privilege to be a conduit for God’s love towards someone else. The experience may bring calm, peace and some feel-good feelings. This may help answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” The refreshing of your own soul.

2. The laborer’s appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on. (Proverbs 16:26) Hunger or the possibility of hunger may help someone develop the skills to take responsibility for their own lives. When their pay is docked because they keep coming to work late, hunger may motivate them to be on time. When they lose the job because they were not productive, hunger may motivate them to do better next time. When you say no after they have borrowed from you too many times because they spend too much on wants and come to you to fund their needs, hunger may motivate them towards financial discipline. This may help answer the question of how often do I do good. It may also help you shape the kind of good you do. A food pantry, community garden, job fair, employment opportunities and training, a shelter, or a support group are all different ways to meet a hunger need.

3. Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. (Proverbs 3:27) If you have the means to respond, do not withhold good from those who are in need. If you have it to give, give. God is not asking you to do what you cannot do or give what you do not have to give. If you have the power to act yourself or you can influence others to provide service, by all means get the job done.

I have discovered that if you have the desire to do good, to serve or to give, God will empower you to act or provide you with the resources to act. Do what you have the power to do, the Lord being your helper!

Scripture Of The Day: “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” – Proverbs 3:27 (NIV)

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“A man’s reputation is what other people think of him; his character is what he really is.” ~John Milton

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