For Goodness Sake
by Matt Smith
Revenge. Even just typing the word brings with it a positive feeling. The opportunity to get back, to make things even. Justice! Many a good story or movie has revenge as its theme. It might be a son whose parents were murdered so he finds and ends up killing each of those men. Justice is served!
While those types of storylines make for good movies, they don’t exactly fit the spirit that God intends for us to have. Galatians 6:10 teaches, “As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Paul’s admonition is for us to look for opportunities to do good to people, whether they deserve it or not. In a world in which selfishness and self-interest pervade the lives of most, we as Christians should stand out as looking to do good for others.
This helping of others can take on different forms. One of my good friends frequently goes with Samaritan’s Purse to help out after natural disasters. Of course, even the name “Samaritan” reminds us of the parable in which the lowly Samaritan helped out an injured man while a priest and a Levite walked around the man without offering a helping hand. While many of us cannot take a week off of work on a moment’s notice to do something like that, there are frequently small deeds of kindness we can do, down to something as insignificant as holding open the door for someone or letting someone go ahead of us in line. Maybe it would be helping a neighbor with a project or helping someone who is stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. No doubt if we lived our lives looking for opportunities to do kind acts toward others we would see many chances to show this form of Christ-likeness. And who knows what opportunities for witness these simple acts of goodness might lead to? As the old saying goes, “people don’t care what you know until they know how much you care.” May we be a people and church that is known for our kind and caring heart that will often stand out in the self-centered culture in which we live.