Over the past two weeks the two major political parties and their candidates have inundated us with speeches and information on how they, and they alone, can make the country better. Yes, even great. Again.
Each one believes their platform is positioned to not only improve America in general, but the lives of each of its citizens specifically. And by extension make the world a better place.
I’m afraid if we’re waiting for politicians, government, party platforms, business people or slogans to substantially improve our well-being, we will be waiting a long time.
I have a two-word solution for making the world a better place.
It’s simple. In fact, it almost sounds simplistic. But hear me out.
The Bible uses that two-word exhortation, “do good,” 34 times.
The Preacher in Ecclesiastes knew something about living a good life. He advised, “I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives” (Eccl. 3:12)
The word “good” almost needs no definition. We have an internal, intuitive notion of what it means to do good, or be good. I can remember as a little kid when I misbehaved and my Mom would furrow up her brow, get an aggravated look on her face and scold me by saying, “Be good!” I knew what that meant!
Yes, to do good, we must work at being good. The Psalmist penned “Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it” (Ps 34:14) Jesus is our great example. He identifies himself as “the Good Shepherd.” His goodness spoke to His inner nature. His virtue. His character. Christ calls us to “be good.” To develop a good heart. A heart that is holy. Pure. Undefiled. Good.
Out of a good heart comes good deeds. Luke records that Jesus “went about doing good.” This word has to do with bestowing benefits to others. Of being a benefactor. Or doing philanthropic work.
Paul encourages us “not become weary in doing good,” but exhorts us “as we have opportunity, (to) do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Gal 6:9-10)
To do good is to be inspired by nobler motives, to live at a higher level, and practice what we profess. Even to those who may oppose us and oppress it. In His famous mountain message Jesus challenged us to a better way of treating others. “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matt 5:44).
To be a follower of Jesus is to do good. It should be a priority. A daily discipline. Our very nature. The Bible says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10).
Regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, political preference, economic status or social standing our desire should always be to do good. To all people.
To those who are blessed with wealth, the apostle Paul admonished, “Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” (1 Tim. 6:18). Indeed “to whom much is given, much will be required.” Selfishness is a sin. Generously share your blessings with others.
Look for ways to do good. In your community. Your church. Your club. Even your home. The world is not changed over night by massive social programs. But you can change one person’s life for the better today by doing good.
The Bible warns us, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin (Jas. 4:17).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman