Do good to all people ∙
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. – Proverbs 3:27
9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Dr. David Nott has seen humanity at its worse. As a humanitarian war zone surgeon for nearly 30 years, the British doctor has treated the victims of barrel bombs in Syria, snipers in Bosnia, child abuse in Sudan. He once removed a detonator from a woman’s leg; another time the nurse standing next to him was killed by a bullet.
“Conflict work was the only thing that made me feel alive,” he says, describing the experience as “joyous.” The key to staying safe in the middle of a war zone, says the doctor is known as “the Indiana Jones of Surgery,” is developing ties to the embattled people in these communities. You can’t stop human bullets or bombs,” he says, “but you can develop relationships with people whereby they don’t want you to die” or “be in a situation whereby your life is at risk.”
He has treated the consequences of human beings at their monstrous worse but says he has also witnessed extraordinary kindness, loyalty, and honor. “There are some people who use their power to make things better and have a positive effect on people’s lives,” he says, and “there are others who use power to destroy everything around them.” But he still believes “the majority of humans are good” (Staying Alive in a War Zone, The Week March 13, 2020).
Speaking of war zones, on February 24, 2022, the largest conventional military attack on the European nation since World War II began in earnest. Throughout the planet, people were aghast at what happened. What was touted as a potential “minor incursion,” became a full-fledged military invasion involving some 200,000 Russian troops, tanks, rockets, missiles, not only supersonic but also hypersonic weapons. Threats were made regarding chemical and nuclear weapons as well.
The tragedy of human suffering and the destruction of once beautiful buildings and cities is egregious. Sadly most people may be good, but a number are not. At the outset, there was no telling how it would end. With all the misinformation and disinformation afoot it was hard to know what was actually happening. Large numbers of innocent people, men, women, and children have been exterminated. But there were some surprising outcomes as well. The Ukrainians rallied around their flag and boldly resisted the attacking forces.
Observing the utter cruelty and lack of provocation many, many nations throughout the world banded together to put up a united front to sanction the attackers. Strangely and unpredictably the Europeans who didn’t want to get involved and desired to maintain neutrality suddenly reversed course. A major paradigm shift occurred shaking the global tectonic plates of political alliances and economics throughout planet Earth. Suddenly the credo of the American Revolutionary War, Join or Die, came to the fore in opposition to a common enemy.
REFLECT & PRAY
“Instead of looking for a place to quit, we should be looking for another place to start!” (Boles)
Father I affirm that it is right to do good and eschew evil. In coming alongside others, I seek to serve joyfully begrudgingly. May it be an invigorating, spiritually uplifting experience. Please work out what You have placed within.
What is good? The dictionary defines it as something which is morally excellent, virtuous, righteous, of high quality, or excellent. Goodness is a quality that includes excellence, exceptional, appealing, delightful, enjoyable, nice, or pleasant.
The Father has given all children of the King the responsibility to do good to others. This is at the heart of practical Christian love and ethics. This is our prime directive along with loving Father with all our heart, soul, and mind.
Galatians 6:10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone– especially to those in the family of faith.
On one hand, the Father shows no partiality. Therefore neither should children of the King. But on the other hand, doing good for others is also a family affair. The larger family is the family of mankind which includes all people on planet Earth. However there is a much smaller family, the family of faith, that is, the children of the King.
Tragically, whenever the children of the King forget their prime directive, they often become filled with prejudice and bigotry. For one reason or another, people tend to be tribal. Consequently, they delude themselves into thinking that “their tribe” is better than all of the other tribes. Children of the King are required to do good to all people whether or not they are Christians. But we have a particular obligation to do good, especially to those in the Father’s Forever Family.
There is a bit of tension here that each individual has to work through. We are exhorted to be ready to do good to all people. But we have a higher and more compelling requirement to care for the fellow members of our Father’s Forever Family. We will be together for all eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ and one another.
Two different Greek words are translated into the English language as good. One is found in Galatians 6:9, the other in Galatians 6:10.
The first Greek word is kalos found in the phrase kalon poiountes which is literally “well-being.” Kalos has the sense of being noble, praiseworthy, beautiful, admirable, healthy, fit, well, or of moral excellence (Galatians 6:9).
The second Greek term is agathos. Agathos has to do with doing good for the benefit of others. It has the sense of being useful, upright, and honorable (Galatians 6:10).
Are there consequences of consciously deciding not to be good or do good to others? Indeed! Sadly such individuals often develop negative attitudes and become cynical. For such people, almost everything is “sour grapes.” Is so disheartening and regrettable that many of the children of the King die bitter, old people. They have allowed life to sour them. They permit criticism to defeat them. This plays right into the enemy’s hands (Richison). They become suspicious, contemptuous, fearful, and disapproving.
The Father has laid down a high standard for all children of the King.
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
How is this possible for mere human beings with flaws and a strong streak of self-centeredness? The Father offers a simple solution. It involves a change of focus and a major paradigm shift.
1 Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, our champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
© Dr. H 2022