Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)
Change The World – Do Good
Albert Barnes sums up the admonition of Paul to do good to all men. He writes, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men – This is the true rule about doing good. ‘The opportunity to do good,’ said Cotton Mather, ‘imposes the obligation to do it.’ The simple rule is, that we are favored with the opportunity, and that we have the power. It is not that we are to do it when it is convenient; or when it will advance the interest of a party; or when it may contribute to our fame; the rule is, that we are to do it when we have the opportunity. No matter how often that occurs; no matter how many objects of benevolence are presented – the more the better; no matter how much self-denial it may cost us; no matter how little fame we may get by it; still, if we have the opportunity to do good, we are to do it, and should be thankful for the privilege. And it is to be done to all people. Not to our family only; not to our party; not to our neighbors; not to those of our own color; not to those who live in the same land with us, but to all mankind. If we can reach and benefit a man who lives on the other side of the globe, whom we have never seen, and shall never see in this world or in the world to come, still we are to do him good. Such is Christianity. And in this, as in all other respects, it differs from the narrow and selfish spirit of clanship which prevails all over the world.”
An exciting part of being a child of God is to let the world see the grace of the Father living in the hearts of those who the blood of Christ has redeemed. Religion is not a stuffed shirt feeling of rituals going through rote requirements, but a life changed to express feelings of goodness to all men. The world is filled with the “selfish spirit of clanship,” which should not be a Christian’s attitude. His or her light should brightly shine as one of goodness towards all men. What makes this character unique for the Christian is that kindness is shown to all men, regardless of color, background, and even spiritual degradation. In other words, while not accepting sinful actions, kindness rather than hatred should be shown toward those lost in sin. There is enough hatred in the world, and the Christian should never show contempt toward others. God loves the homosexual, murderer, thief, adulterer, and fornicator and desires them to repent. Showing acts of goodness or kindness toward all men allow the world to see the real character of the love of God in the heart of his children.
The opportunity to do good abounds in the life of a Christian. Small acts of kindness can have as much power as larger deeds. Looking for occasions to say a kind word to all men exemplifies the spirit of God. These acts of kindness can open doors of teaching the gospel and, as a result, save a soul. One of the greatest evangelism tools begins with the heart willing to open hands of goodness towards those mired in the depravities of sin. Jesus left an example of seeking those who desperately needed the love of God. Many did not accept the invitation of Christ but those who did learn the eternal lesson of God’s love and grace. Paul encouraged the brethren to seek those opportunities to do good and use those times to change hearts.
One of the most important areas of influence is within the family of God. If benevolence does not begin in the household of God, it cannot find its worth within a sin-sick world. There is a greater burden to show kindness to the brethren. Kindness begins first at the house of God. If a man is unwilling to be good to his brother or sister in Christ, he will never have the heart to help the man lost in sin. Paul did not suggest that doing good was limited to the household of faith. What begins within the family of God will show goodness to all men. Sowing seeds of kindness will reap a harvest of blessings. When a man sows discord or hatred, he will reap what he sows. Teaching the word is the greatest kindness a man can do for another. As there is the opportunity, let the word of Christ dwell in the heart of the Christian to do good to all men, especially to those who are of the household of faith. If you want to change the world, start here.