My family and I spent a week in July attending a pastor’s seminar in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The speaker for the week was Tom Blackaby who is the author of several well-known Christian books. During that week there were many times when I gave serious though about the things that Mr. Blackaby brought to us but also about things in my own mind that his thoughts stirred within me. During that time together Tom Blackaby stated the obvious by saying:
“Those who aren’t following Jesus aren’t his followers. Followers follow.”
Simple, yet thought provoking. Of course, as I have shred here before, this idea immediately got me thinking about churches and church folk whose actions look and smell nothing like the actions of Jesus. All too often, we discover people who say that they are followers of Jesus, but act nothing like him. The more we follow Jesus, the more our actions will look (and smell) like his and the more we will begin to look like him.
That line of thinking brought me to this:
Good people, do good.
Perhaps not as obvious as “Followers follow” but just as true.
While even good people have lapses in judgment and do things that they should not, failing to do good begins our removal from the category of “good.” If we know what we should do and fail to do it, are we, indeed good? In the epic novel “War and Peace,” Leo Tolstoy said:
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”
If we see evil and do nothing, how can we call ourselves good?
Jesus said, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. (Luke 6:35)
If we are expected to do good to our enemies, how much more so should we do good for those who are not?
The first instruction that John Wesley gave to all of his pastors, and one that is still given to pastors today is this: “Be diligent. Never be unemployed. Never be triflingly employed. Never while away time, nor spend more time at any place than is strictly necessary.” In Wesley’s mind, doing good once in a while doesn’t reach high enough.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to do good. Sitting back and watching the world go by doesn’t count.
Doing good once in a while isn’t enough.
Good people, do good.
Are youdoing good?