by: Sandy Domelle
I have two Bible verses printed out that are posted in my home and in my Bible. Both of these verses are meant to be reminders to me personally to be constantly aware of others.
Proverbs 3:27, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.”
Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
It’s amazing to me the many ways that the Lord can use me if I allow Him to. When I read both of these verses, I am encouraged to find ways to continually do good and help others. When you read these verses, I want you to remember that “good” doesn’t always mean monetarily.
Good can come in many various forms and you won’t do good on accident. This is something that you intentionally have to plan and think about. It will take character to do good for others. We know this is important because we are commanded to do good by God. This means we need to find every opportunity that we can to do good. We shouldn’t do more good to others than to our own household which is our family or church.
Let me show you some ways that we can do good.
1. Prayer is an easy way to do good.
When you sit in church, receive a phone call, email, or have someone personally ask you to pray for them for a specific need, this is an easy way to do good. I can’t tell you how many times I’m asked to pray for something. I think when we are at a place of desperate need for an answer to our prayers, we will want to ask many to pray for our requests. Some requests are unspoken and we don’t have details to put with the prayer. When I go to the Lord, He knows that specific need. God is willing to hear my prayer or petition on behalf of my friends or loved ones.
2. Take time to think of those who have been good to you.
When you stop and think of each person who has somehow brightened your day, week or month, there’s many names you could add to a list. Maybe it was a person who gave you an encouraging word. Maybe it was someone who sent you a nice note or email. Maybe it was someone who went out of their way to help you. Maybe it was someone who is consistently a wonderful friend. Stop and think of these people and drop them a short note to show them that you care. I absolutely love peanut butter M&M’s. I have a friend who will leave me a bag of them on my seat at church from time to time with a note of appreciation. It’s something that doesn’t cost much but shows me that she cares. What are the little things you can do for the people on your list?
3. Schedule a time to sit down and write out a list of people you want to be sure to do good for that week.
When you have a list you are more apt to follow through.
4. Once you have a scheduled time, make sure it becomes your habit.
Most people are busy, but don’t get so busy with work and doing odd things that you forget to do good for someone. There are a few widows and shut-ins in our church that I go by and see on a regular basis. It has become a habit to stop by because I have scheduled it into my routine.
5. Don’t wait to do good.
Did you know that good intentions are not enough? We have to follow through on those intentions; otherwise, we’ll never achieve all that we should. How many times have you heard someone who lost a loved one say, “I wish I had….” We don’t want to have a life of wishing we had, so we need to make sure we did!
I don’t know why, but getting people to write notes anymore is like pulling teeth. Now, you have to understand how much I love writing notes. I love writing notes because I’m a card maker. I make my own cards. When I know someone is going through a hard time, lost a loved one, sick, in the hospital or just feels forgotten, those are my favorite times to make a card. When I make a card, I pray for the person for whom I am making the card. I know many of you may not share my hobby, but you can still jot a note. A note doesn’t have to be a page long, it can be a paragraph of a few sentences telling them how much you care or appreciate them. We all know how much we enjoy getting a note of appreciation. It makes my day! Just think of how many people’s day you can make by writing a simple note.
7. Do good by giving them a small gift.
Sometimes we can’t afford to buy something big, but sometimes the person is worthy of a gift to show how much we are appreciate them. There are times when I find things on clearance that are wonderful gifts to hold onto for when I need a quick small gift to give. Giving a gift card for coffee, or somewhere they like to eat, can be special. Find something you think of small and fun to give. Maybe it’s even baked cookies, brownies or a special dessert. There is always a way to find a small gift.
8. Do good by giving anonymous gifts.
Did you know that these are the most fun to give? You may say, “They won’t know I gave it to them.” Yes, that’s the point! It’s fun to keep them guessing. I have a friend who for 2 years in a row put a mum plant on my front porch in the fall. I still don’t know what friend did it, but I get so excited when I come home to a pretty mum with a ribbon around the base and a note sticking out that says, “I just wanted you to know that you were prayed for today! Your anonymous friend.” Believe me, I have asked a ton of people if they put it there. I laugh because I can just imagine that it’s the person I least expect, and they probably are getting a real kick out of me wondering who did it. You know, as excited as I have been to get that mum, in return I have had the same joy of leaving a potted flower anonymously on someone else’s porch. A flower isn’t the only thing you may choose to give, but you probably already thought of something that would be fun to give. Don’t just think it…do it!
9. Do good by helping them in their time of need.
I think of this so very often. Someone in the church loses a loved one and the funeral is at the church. If there is any way you can, be there. You may not know the person’s loved one, but that church member is hurting and it’s good for you to be there in their time of need. If you hear someone in the church is in the hospital, go out of your way to visit them. If you can’t go see them, call or text them. Just knowing that you went out of your way is comforting to them when they need it the most. Did you know that you don’t only have to help those whom you are close to in the church? There are those you may not know as well, but helping them during their time of need may bond your heart to theirs and you may just gain a new friend.
10. Do good by not taking advantage of others.
Many times there are people who have helped us in different things we do. Make sure you make them feel appreciated. I think so often in the ministry people take advantage of people who are always willing to give of their time, money and energy. These are the people who would bend over backwards to be a help to you, the pastor or church. I can say by personal experience that I will help and do more for the person who shows appreciation to me than to those who don’t. You say that sounds greedy. No, if I have worked extensively on a project, and you took the time to send me a note of gratitude, I’ll be the first one to sign up to help again. So often we lose good help because we overlook those who have sacrificed and given a lot, and eventually, they are completely burnt out and feel that no one notices anyway so they won’t be missed if they don’t help. My dad often said, “Make sure to take care of the little people.” By that he wasn’t meaning necessarily the children, but if they deserved it, they should be taken care of. What he meant was, take care of the people who sometimes do things quietly, many times unseen, but consistent people who are always there. If you are a ministry leader, do your best to take care of your helpers.
11. Ask God how you can do good for others.
Sometimes you may see someone who just needs to be loved or acknowledged. Pray and ask the Lord what you can do for them. There have been times when the Lord has laid someone on my heart who I didn’t know very well and really didn’t know what to do for them. But when I prayed and asked the Lord, He gave me several ideas.
Now let me also say, there are some who just say you cannot give anything to do good. Let me remind you that there is always something to give. There are those sitting at church all by themselves who you can go over and give them a friendly smile, shake their hand and be warm and welcoming; that is good. There are times you can write a note of appreciation; that is good. Maybe you can babysit someone’s children, help a widow clean her home or rake leaves, and maybe you can cook a meal for someone.
I love the story in 1 Kings 17 of the widow of Zarephath. The Lord stretched her meal so that she could feed the prophet. If God can stretch her supplies, He can stretch the groceries in your pantry so you can bake or prepare a meal.
God didn’t put us on this Earth to be wrapped up only in our personal lives. God wants us to live for others. What good have you done today or this week?