Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Doing Good

So when and why do we 'do good?'  Do we do good when it is hard?  When it is costly?  When it is inconvenient?  Or do we do it when it fits into our budget, our schedule and our passions and when it falls outside those boundaries do we just say no, rationalizing our reluctance?  I hate to say it, but I totally fall into the 'when it's convenient' mindset.  Rarely am I out there 'doing good' when it gets really hard.

But that is what Jesus taught us to do.  Jesus teaches to love our enemies.  Jesus teaches us to do good for 'the least of our brothers.'  I am reminded of the parable of the good Samaritan.  Read below the New International Versions translation of this familiar story.

Luke 10:30-37

New International Version (NIV)
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

This is a great illustration of the kind of 'doing good' God wants from us.   In this story, the man who did good, did so at a cost to himself, but notice that the helping man helped within his resources.  It was costly for the man to offer help, but it did not overwhelm him.  I find it often challenging to find the 'fine line' between helping others and doing so within my ability.   Think of the helping man.  Don't you think he would have preferred to arrive at the inn on-time and not late?  Don't you think that he could have found a good use for the denarii besides giving it to the inn-keeper?  But also notice that he continued with his business, leaving the hurt man in the care of the inn-keeper.  So he didn't take out a loan to pay for his care, but gave something up.  He didn't not take care of his business in town, but did allow himself to arrive later than planned to the inn in the evening.

As I approach the Christmas season I hope to go a little beyond my comfort zone in meeting the needs of others. Of course, doing our card making party at the respite house is one thing - but this seems to fall in the convenient and easy category.  Now I want to prayerfully consider other opportunities that may cross my path that will allow me to go further in my christian charity.  I wonder what opportunities will come up this week for me to do good?  Will I inconvenience myself to meet the need?  I prayerfully hope so.

Oh and here is the second card we will make for the ladies later this month.

How will you respond to opportunities to do good this Christmas season?

Thanks for visiting my blog and my second post in the 12 blogs of Christmas.

1 comment:

Kimberly Gajewski said...

Beautiful card, Linda! I feel the same way...there is so much more I wish I could do. There always seems to be an obstacle in the way. I continue to pray about this and hope that the things that I am able to do truly help in some small way.