You can Do Well By Doing Good! Doing good, doing random acts of kindness, and spreading goodness have a forward and backward effect. Not only are others blessed and uplifted, so are you!
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:17 NIV
How do you ‘know the good’ you ought to do? You guessed correctly – your conscience! I have had my conscience pop up and remind me to do a good thing for someone, and I’ve also had the experience of ignoring it and missing the opportunity. I knew I should do something for another person, I procrastinated, my conscience pricked me several times and then finally gave up. Then it was too late and I knew I had failed. It doesn’t feel good.
The Sin of Omission
In fact, for me, it was a sin. It wasn’t for you because your conscience (the Holy Spirit) was not passing along that same message from God’s heart. I had to repent and do better the next time. Obeying feels good! Sometimes, just remaining silent is a sin because you know you should have said something and you didn’t.
We also refer to doing good as random acts of kindness or paying it forward. No matter what you call it, the Word calls it good if you obey and a sin if you don’t.
What is Good?
The Greek word used here for ‘good’ is kalon. According to Strong’s Concordance, it means “properly, beautiful, but chiefly good, i.e. Valuable or virtuous.” Doing something valuable or virtuous can mean many things. However, it always relates to our obedience to God in connection to others. It can be as simple as a smile or a hug, or as big as putting your life on the line to save someone else.
Goodness and kindness are two of the fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit likes to produce that fruit in you but it is of little value unless it is shared. Fruit that stays on the branch too long, ends up rotting and falling to the ground. Animals may enjoy it but people really don’t. The word kindness denotes some sort of action – as does goodness.
Goodness and Kindness are Actions
We do these ‘good’ acts because we are made in God’s image and He is good. How do we know God is good? We know because of what He has done – He has done ‘good’ things for us and the Bible lists them. At the end you can download the Scriptures about this. How do we know God is kind? We know it based on what He does and does not do. He does not give us what we deserve! Instead, out His goodness and kindness, He gave us mercy through Jesus. It is meaningless to say that you are a good and kind person. Those two things havd to be demonstrated by acts of goodness and kindness.
It is actually quite simple. Acts of kindness and goodness can be the very simplest things in the world. I like to have 2 cups of coffee every morning. My husband doesn’t sleep well and he is up very early in the morning. Knowing that I like to have coffee first thing, he sets out my cup, creamer, and the two pods for my two cups of coffee. When I get up, all I have to do is put the new pod in and push a button! It is an act of kindness. He doesn’t do it because I asked, he does it because he wants to show his love for me. That is kindness and I thank him often for his little acts of kindness.
It’s the Small Things
Those small things make the recipient realize they are noticed, remembered, and loved. It’s easy to feel invisible at times – as if no one knows or cares that you exist. One little act of kindness or display of goodness can make all the difference in the world to a lonely or suffering person. It might be as simple as actually listening and responding after you asked someone – how are you? Sometimes we are surprised when someone actually tells us how they are and we fail to really listen or respond. Often, the most important thing we can do is actually hear that person and then respond with words that show we care. We don’t have to solve their problem, just acknowledge it and the fact that they are struggling.
Here are some ideas for kindness or goodness:
- A hug
- Smiling and saying hello
- Talking to someone who is standing by themselves in a crowd
- Calling a friend you haven’t heard from in a while – just to say hello.
- A text saying – I’m thinking about you and praying for you. I love you or I care.
- A card to just say hello.
- Inviting them to go have coffee
- Buying a little gift and taking it to them – their favorite candy, some flowers, or whatever you know they like.
- Take cookies to your new neighbor
- Compliment a stranger – I’ve done it and it’s fun!
- Leave a bigger tip for a grumpy waitress
- Tell a Veteran how much you appreciate their sacrifice
We Are Well When We Practice Good
In the process of doing good, you will feel better. We always do well when we follow Jesus’ example of doing good for others. It takes our minds off of ourselves and our own struggles. It builds us up and brings joy – the joy of a job well done. The joy of knowing that our Savior is smiling. It’s actually good for us because we were created to do good works. God does them and we are made in His image. We don’t do them to get something. Instead, we give for the simple joy of giving and making life better for someone else – encouragement, time, love, acts of kindness, words of life, and more.
We aren’t doing ‘works of the law’ to be acceptable to God, we are just doing what flows naturally out of a life given to Jesus and it brings joy to the giver, the receiver, and the God of both. We truly do well by doing good. That term is one used by businesses that have grabbed hold of a spiritual principle and used it for financial gain. This is not what we are talking about. We are talking about acts of kindness and goodness whose only return is the joy of giving. There is no ‘getting’ involved. We do not give to get something in return.
Don’t Grow Weary
There is an admonition in the bible not to grow weary in doing good. I suppose this could mean not to overdo, but it could also mean – don’t let yourselves get sick of doing it.
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:1-10 NIV
Don’t Stop Doing Good
The last verse says to take advantage of every opportunity to do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers! To me, that means that we need to be sure not to let ourselves get sick of it and just stop.
To be honest, doing good to others can also hold its difficulties. Not everyone is appreciative. In fact, for some, you can never do enough! These are the ones who can cause us to give up on doing good works. Even when we are weary, we do well by doing good and find ourselves revived. Galatians 6 is the instruction to keep going because our focus is not on what we get back from people. It’s Jesus!
Click Here to download and/or print the “Scriptures on Doing Good” and the Devotional pages.
**We use verses from different Bible translations.
To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit our Scripture Citations.
1 – 24 Day Challenge – Renewing Your Mind and Conscience
2 – Living By the Golden Rule
3 – Being Falsely Accused
4 – A Personal Testimony of Salvation
5 – Knowing Right From Wrong
6 – What is the Power of the Holy Spirit?
7 – Submitting to Authority
8 – What is a Weak Conscience?
9 – Living a Life Worthy of the Gospel
10 – Speaking The Truth at All Times
11 – Purity of Heart and Mind
12 – 12 Steps to Overcoming Guilt and Shame
13 – Living With Integrity
14 – The Goal of Unselfish Love
15 – The Shield of Faith
16 – Leading By Example
17 – Being A Good Enough Christian
18 – Standing Firm in Your Faith
19 – How to Encourage Yourself