Being Good for Goodness Sake? – Today’s Thoughts…
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 19, 2008
This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. (Titus 3:8-9)
As Christians we often argue about really stupid stuff. Perhaps it is because we have way too much time on our hands or perhaps it is because we simply cannot seem to mind our own business of walking with God in holiness. This is nothing new. Titus was a new area pastor of several small churches in Crete. And we all know how those Cretans are: “liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” (Titus 1:12) Seriously, though, notice what Paul writes Titus in the above verses. He is ending his missive to Titus and is going back to his main theme of the letter in the first place. Namely, that Christians there needed to straighten themselves out for the Lord! They needed to “devote themselves to doing what is good” and living a godly lifestyle. One of the ways they could do this is to “avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels… [that are] unprofitable and useless!”
Isn’t kind of silly that we get so concerned about what you believe about when Jesus will return or if there will be tribulation or not? I mean, he is going to return and when and how he does come back is truly God’s concern. Shouldn’t we as believers be ready to receive our Master when he does return so we can hear his encouraging words of “well done”? Then, we get all excited about whether someone has received the gifts of the Spirit or not. Frankly that is none of your business and is between you and the Lord and no one else. If you have received Christ, you have received all of the Lord and are sealed by the Spirit and secure in him. Then we tend to look at the sliver in our fellow Christian’s eye, without blindly noticing the timber poking out of our own forehead. Should we not be encouraging one another to live happy healthy holy lives for the Lord as long as it is called today because the Lord is coming back? Shouldn’t we as believers be more concerned about how we are not sharing our faith with our friends, neighbors, and relatives? As the world grows darker around us we tend to cloister together like pigeons wanting to feel the presence of God instead of living holy lives for him and expressing him to the world through our lives and telling others about who he is and what he has done in our lives. Placing a bumper sticker that says, “God Only,” on your car does not take the place of your lack of sharing your faith. But I digress…
What “good” thing have you done for the glory for the Lord instead of spending so much time and effort arguing about stupid stuff? This holiday season why not give the same amount to missions or ministry that you use for buying presents for others? Volunteer at a Crisis Pregnancy Center, give food to a food bank, buy a coat for a child at a low income school, adopt a family from a gift giving tree, bake some cookies for the shut-in neighbor down the street, or invite someone new to your Thanksgiving feast that needs a place to feel like “family” even for one day. Volunteer to serve in your church at some menial job no one else likes to do. But when you do these “good” things do not do them for goodness sake, do them for the glory of the Lord not expecting any thanks or recognition back for doing them. Just keep your mouth shut, smile, and do them for Jesus.
This year I am going to try as hard as I can to stop arguing about things that do not truly matter in the grand scheme of the Lord and focus more on the things that do. Doing good and living a godly life for him. Want to join me?
This article is copyrighted © 2008 by Lee Hemen and if you reprint it, reproduce it, or want to use it in any way, you must do so in its entirety or get the written permission of its author.