Have you heard this time honored Scripture passage? I have heard it preached or taught more times over the years than I can count. It is usually linked to admonitions to continue to do so-called good works as a Christian. This is not inaccurate. We need to be diligent about putting our hands to benevolent activities whenever possible. Goodness knows that there is more than enough need on our world to keep us all occupied on a daily basis. Further, I also believe that we live in communities where there are people all around us who are more than ready to step up and make a difference whenever there is a need for compassionate response.
However, let us consider another possibility.
Well doing can be more than just episodic acts of charity or compassion. Well doing can be the determination to embrace a manner of living that is committed to the highest standards of ethics and morals. In the past, this might have been referred to as ‘righteous living’ in the sense of living as closely to a Godly lifestyle as possible.
In the Bible, the story is told of a Roman officer by the name of Cornelius who though he was not a Christian, was a determined God seeker. He was committed to living the loftiest life style he possibly could and the biblical writer portrays him as a noble person for that commitment and one who received God’s special attention because of it.
I submit that this is hard work. The discipline required to choose the high road of life on a daily basis is demanding. All around us are enticements to lower our standards. We are invited to behave in ways that are lesser in ethics and values with the false assurance that it will not really matter and after all, everyone else is doing it. To overcome such messages and continue in well doing requires energy that may at times leave us weary. But, make no mistake the benefits of staying the course are well worth it.
Let me mention only two or three of the most pragmatic. You can sleep at night, which is the gift of a clear conscience. You can be the role model for those around you that they truly need. You can face life without the feeling that you have sold a piece of your soul thus leaving yourself the lesser for it.
Press on friends. Be not weary in well doing.