Even more straightforward than do no harm (that we talked about earlier), doing good, is what missions is all about, amiright? Doing good is the action step following the first practice of doing no harm. It’s the difference between being a harmless lump, and being an instigator of positive change.
Doing good is hugely important. But even though this step is, in my opinion, may be the easiest of the three practices for some of us, that doesn’t make it easy!
Tell or read the story of the 4 friends who took their buddy to Jesus, via the roof (Luke 5:17-26).
Sometimes doing good is tricky, feels unnatural, and is in a word, hard.
Take a moment to imagine together the steps leading up to lowering a man through the roof. (e.g. making the initial decision, stabilizing the mat, attaching ropes, climbing up to the roof, making a hole in the roof, carrying the man up to the roof, and finally, lowering him through without making him roll off the mat. Easier said than done!)
Doing good is worth the discomfort. “Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today” (Luke 5:25-26).
We, as people of God, can stand in the gap for the not-yet-people of God by first, doing no harm, and second, doing good. This is our privilege. On one of our mission trips, a 9th grader gave his water bottle to a guy whose only other source of water was rainwater.
Doing good in that moment was incredibly practical and offered a material transaction. It is no less valid, however, to stand in the gap spiritually, through praying for/with people who can’t or won’t go to God on their own like the guy on the mat.
Of course, we can only do good in our own strength for about five minutes (or less) before our motives get polluted, we get frustrated and want something in return, we start thinking nasty things about the people we are “doing good” for, or we just give up. Friends, stick close to every means of grace! Means’ of Grace is God’s gift to us, reminding us that we are not alone!
- What is the best gift you have ever received? What about the best non-tangible gift?
- In what ways can doing good be a gift you give others?
- What practical way will you commit to doing good today? What friend will you practice this with?
- Which means of grace will you embrace today? With what friend?