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Re-thinking What It Means to be “Devoted to Doing Good.”
Posted by Clare
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I just finished reading the short book of Titus. In chapter three, Paul uses a slight variation of this phrase three times, “devote yourself to doing good.” The opening verses of Titus say this:

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” Titus 3:1, 2

The first time I read those familiar verses, I blew right past them. “Sure, I know that! All Christians should devote themselves to doing good. Next!” But when I ran into that phrase “do good” twice more in the same chapter, I had an impression from the Holy Spirit to stop and reflect on them. So, what does it actually mean to devote yourself to doing good? 

Most Christians consider themselves “good people.” By that we generally mean we believe we are virtuous people, and ought to be virtuous people. And it’s true that to devote ourselves to being virtuous is a form of doing good. But these verses are challenging us to not simply be a “good person” but to devote yourself to doing good. That means that we ought to wake up each morning to the reality that one of our primary tasks as citizens of the Kingdom is to make life better for others. Not just in the sense that we make lunches for our children, work to provide a good life for our family, or volunteer to teach Sunday school at church.

I believe what it means to devote yourself to doing good is the intentional and exceptional acts of kindness, of going out of your way to encourage the lonely, or give an outsized tip or compliment to a server at a restaurant. It’s calling a parent who was not always kind to you growing up and just connecting with them. It’s inviting a hurting neighbor who is no fun to be with because they are always complaining, over for a cup of coffee. It’s looking for a stranger to bless, or giving your spouse an extra-long hug and a well deserved, “I’m proud of you.”

Random Acts of Kindness
The kind of goodness the Holy Spirit inspires us to do are more than “random” acts of kindness. They are intentional, thoughtful and purposeful. They should be part of our mission in life to make God look good. They are the “salt” Jesus inspires us to be.

Please don’t just agree with me. Does that describe you? Are you the kind of Christian that routinely goes out of their way to be generous and kind?

If not, then today, right now, please ask the Holy Spirit to give you spiritual radar for someone who needs you to do something good for them today, and devote yourself to doing good today!

How following Jesus works in real life.

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