Celebrating Do-Gooders

Jul 16th 2010

Over the course of the last couple of years I’ve been on a mini-mission to redeem the words “do good.”  In a culture of superlatives, good has lost ground. Compared to awesome and amazing, good is just barely above bad.  community serviceGood just doesn’t have quite the same ring as off the hook or all that — though I still think “good” is better than “sick.”

Today “good” is a standard response which means “uh okay.” When my kids come home from school, the standard question is “How was school?” The standard response is “Good.” Now when they say “Good”, I’m not tempted to believe that what they mean is

Dad, school…oh…is there anywhere we could move where they have school like every day, because I love school. I wanna go to school forever. School is good. The teachers are good. I love homework. The food is so good.”

No see, Good simply means I made it through, it wasn’t bad. It didn’t totally stink.  You might be thinking, so what? What difference does it make what words we use… well maybe it doesn’t make a difference.  Except when we are talking about God.  Because when David writes in Psalm 34:8 “O Taste and See that God is good.”   He’s not saying that God is just okay. He’s not saying that God doesn’t totally stink. He’s saying that God is off the hook, incredible. He is so much more than all that. Amazing and awesome don’t come close.  My words can’t describe it so let’s just say…God is good.

In the book of beginnings, Genesis 1, the refrain of Creation is that God looked at what he had created and said, “That is good.”  Do you understand?  God never does anything halfway. He is not a “just get by” kind of God. He pours His whole being into what he does. Look at creation. Billions of stars? Did we really need billions of stars or do we have billions of stars because God poured his whole being into creation?  When God created the world, he didn’t do just enough to get by. God doesn’t do C work. He is not average, mediocre or middle of the road. He doesn’t settle… He is good and whatever he does is good.

And it’s not only huge galaxies which God calls good.  The apostle Paul wrote these words in his letter to the church at Ephesus…

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he
planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

God has poured all of who he is into creating you and preparing good deeds for you to do.  And when we understand, that we will start…Unleashing the Power of Good.  Use your imagination with me for a moment…

Imagine what happens as we unleash God’s power of good.  Imagine cities recruiting congregations to be a part of their community…because although it doesn’t raise the tax base, it reduces the needs that require taxes.  Imagine evry shut-in getting a visit and every prisoner getting prayer; every family with a home and a meal; every marriage with mentors to walk them through rough times and every struggling student with a tutor.  Imagine atheists sending us thank-you’s. Even though they don’t believe in God, they are glad we are in the community. Because people with AIDs are getting loved. Teens with out fathers are getting big brothers and big sisters. The food shelf is full.

It’s not just a dream. Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-16,

You are the light of the world — like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see.  Don’t hide your light under a basket. Instead put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

This is a picture of the church let loose, the church without walls…providing living proof of a loving God… by doing good in the name of Jesus.   Do-Gooders celebrate!