Read Galatians 6: 1-10
My mom makes the most awesome cookies. Warm and soft with melted chocolate chips straight out of the oven, or cold and crunchy from a stash in the freezer, they are just one of the many ways she has shared love over the years. When Sharon and I travel to San Diego to see our son and his family, there is always a bag of “Grandma’s cookies” for them. Missing the opportunity to take a gallon sized bag of her love to them would be unthinkable. While transporting them requires care to deliver intact cookies and not a bag full of crumbs, in one sense it’s easy because we have anticipated each trip months in advance.
Opportunity : Doing good things for others can be like that. We anticipate. We buy gifts for birthdays, weddings and special occasions. Unless we are mindful, though, it can be easy to miss the opportunities that God provides when those situations appear to pop up out of the blue. He will provide each of us opportunities. Do you try to keep your spiritual eyes and ears open for them?
Doing good: Mom’s cookies are delicious. But I wouldn’t be doing good if I gave a whole bag of them to someone who is diabetic or who is trying to lose weight. With each opportunity, God also expects us to prayerfully consider what is actually most beneficial for that person. As you pray, do you pray for wisdom in how to best respond?
All people: Not just the people we like. The opportunities God provides are not filtered down to just those people we are close to. They are not reserved for folks just like us. They are the “all” from every tribe, tongue and nation. “All” even includes those who want nothing to do with religion. Who would God place in your path that you might otherwise be unlikely to encourage?
This became my life verse when God opened my eyes to the last part of today’s verse: “especially to those who belong to the family of believers”. While doing good to “all people” is important, we, as a family, should be even more aware of and sensitive to our brothers and sisters in Christ. When our hearts beat with love, our lives will be marked with generosity and encouragement for them.
What can you do? Doing good can be meeting physical needs, but it more frequently means encouraging them spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. Each one of us can find joy in doing good because these opportunities will always be within reach of what God has already provided. Remember that only a part of those resources are financial. Encouraging others takes place in so many ways through acts of kindness, praying with and for them, being a listening ear, or things as simple as a smile and a hug. Pray today that God would use you to bring joy and encouragement into the lives of those around you – especially to your family!