Written By Judy Smith
When I was a child, children were strictly disciplined. My grandparents told me constantly to be good. When I misbehaved or disobeyed, I was punished, which taught me not to do that again. It was constantly drilled into my head: don’t lie, steal, curse, treat others badly, or disobey my elders. This was all good.
Did that make me good? Not really. Even though I didn’t do those things for fear of punishment, under my breath I cursed and I was often tempted to sin. I was only “being good” because I was afraid that nobody would want me if I misbehaved. Being good was a way to protect myself from rejection.
My heart was deceitfully wicked.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitfully wicked above all things.
Psalms 139:23 …search me and know my heart.
Matthew 5:8 …blessed are the pure in heart.
So I spent my life desiring to be good in my heart. I tried to fight the sin nature in my flesh, but it never worked. I was not born again and I didn’t know God’s Word. In 1971 I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior and began to devour the Word of God. I knew He said that I was forgiven, but it took time for me to learn to forgive myself. After I received Jesus, I desired His goodness in my life, and I was doing good from my heart. I found myself loving people, I even loved my enemies. Acts 10:38 NIV …how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him. After I was baptized with the Holy Spirit, I later had another experience, where in prayer and worship, I was baptized in the love of God. Since then love people so much, even my enemies. I want from the depths of my heart to do good. I hate sin and I hate evil. I don’t want to wrong anyone.
I firmly believe that when we have problems, we should not worry. We should continue doing the things we know to do. If we have commitments, we must be sure to keep them. Do not get so caught up with your problems that you don’t keep your commitments or do good. Psalms 37:3 says that we should trust in the Lord and do good, and we will feed on His faithfulness. I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness. I have discovered that if I continue to study of God’s Word, continue praying, keep my commitments, and continue helping others, I experience breakthrough much faster. Helping while I am hurting is actually very powerful. We need to give back what we have been given. Love is the greatest gift of God. It is essential according to 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. Jesus was compelled by love to choose to bear our sins on His body, on the cross. What greater love is there? Hebrews 6:10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 1 John 3:16-18 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed [works] and in truth.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. The desire you have to serve God comes from Him. Philippians 2:13 NLT God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. Whether it is because of thankfulness for your salvation, the desire for others to know Him, or through His call for you to live for Him – all of these are evidence of God working in you! Do not question whether you are strong enough, good looking enough, smart enough, or talented enough to do good for Him. And do not fret over your faults or weaknesses. He will provide you with everything you need, and He will do amazing good things through you. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. There is nothing more fulfilling or empowering than doing good. Dear Father God, thank you for my desire to do good and serve you. I praise You for giving me the power to do whatever You call me do. Make me sensitive to the needs of others. Praise You Jesus!