There is plenty of joy in doing good
Published 8:49 pm Friday, October 2, 2015
Included among the many things that bring me fulfillment is that of doing something beneficial or giving something special to someone. I have found that it does not have to be costly or complicated; often the simplest acts of kindness are of immense value to the person they are extended to.
On an occasion a few years back, one of the ladies in the office reached the season of life when vision starts to get a little tricky. Since I had heard her mention more than once that she had been having a little trouble seeing small print—although she was still in denial about her declining vision–, I took it upon myself to buy her her first pair of reading glasses. With an unsigned note on the gift bag that I put them in, when she returned to her desk she, for some reason, immediately suspected me of being the culprit behind that “kind” gift! I was sincere about what I gave her, but admittedly, I got some witty satisfaction in reminding her that she is not as young as she used to be—although she is much younger than I am.
On another occasion my motives were more innocent as I attempted to make a little girl happy. The attempt, however, failed to produce the delight that I had in mind. After picking Madeline up from school, I offered to buy her a treat before taking her to gymnastics class. I gave her two things to choose from; after concentrating on it for a bit, she chose ice cream. We headed off to the restaurant and ordered her vanilla ice cream in a cup. Since I had recently had to have a few talks with her about her behavior in class, surely such a treat would remind her that Papa really is the nice guy she has always perceived him to be. After getting our order, I proudly walked her to the dining area where we sat down and I scooped her up a bite of the cold dessert. She was quick to tell me that she wanted to feed herself, so I complied with her wish. After only two little bites she told me she didn’t want anymore. Unable to convince her to eat more, all my efforts to do a good deed seemed to be for naught! But even though I did not get the response that I expected, it was still a joy attempting to do something good. (And since there was no need to let the ice cream go to waste, I got pleasure from it in a way I had not expected!)
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In our efforts to do good for others, we have to be careful that our motives are pure and not intended for self seeking purposes. In Luke 6:45, Christ reveals the source of our motives: “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (New International Version). We can rejoice that doing good for others, when done with a pure heart, not only brings joy to the one rendering the good, but also pleases God. As Hebrews 13:16 urges us: “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”