“And just as you want men to do, you also do to them likewise.” (Luke 6:31)
Even if we see a hint of selfishness in being good for our own benefit, how wonderful it would be if we were able to abide by this evangelical truth! There would never be any disagreements not falling out among us, because the only one who rejoices in these things is the devil. There would be no wars nor destruction in the world.
It is more profitable for every person on this earth to labor for and eat his daily bread in peace, than to fight and struggle, to destroy lives and to fear for one’s own. If there was peace, everyone would live better.
But it is what it is – malice and spite seem to be in the human nature and both work in the interest of mutual destruction. Sadly, many people see their own benefit in the downfall of others.
Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ goes farther then just our practical benefit or damage. He expects more from us Christians. He commands us to love all people without exception. He also wants us to love them not because there is some kind of profit in it for us. Because the love of a Christian “does not seek its own.” (1 Corinthians 13:5) Says our Lord Jesus Christ: “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.” (Luke 6:32-33) “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.” (Luke 6:35)
The Lord sets and example in His Father and our heavenly Father. “therefore be merciful just as your Father is also merciful.” (Luke 6:36) There is no mercy above and beyond God’s mercy. He lets the sun shine on both the good and the evil and gives rain to both good and evil.” (Matthew 5:45)
We should do good not to please ourselves or others, but to please God before all. We should not expect others to see us and praise us. If that should happen, then we have already received our dues, and God does not owe us anything. (Matthew 6:1-7)
We should always look to please God. (Ephesians 5:10) and to behave in a way that is worthy of the Lord. (Colossians 1:10) “But do not forget to do good and to share,” says the holy Apostle Paul, “for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16) We can only do this if we are in harmony with the sacred will of God. There are many cases of people doing more damage then good when they act of their own accord, even when they believe that they are helping. “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
We must never perform good deeds with the expectation of a reward here and now. “God does not pay every day,” says the old proverb. He does not deal out punishment the minute we do something bad, for He has divine patience for everyone. If He was to reward every good deed immediately in this life, what would be left for the next? (Hebrews 6:10), says St. Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews.
We Christians are called to demonstrate our disposition above all by deeds. Our good works should bear witness about us. St. Paul writes to the Philippians about this. “That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15)
Let it not happen that someone who goes to church and is known by everyone as a person of prayer, a churchgoer, in his private life does things which are anything but pious and God-pleasing. Let it never be said of one of us, “Look at him, he goes to church and makes a show of piety, yet he has no love and no good works to speak for him…”
Our works are the measure of our faith and it is according to our works that Christ will judge us. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
In our demeanour people ought to recognize God in us at every moment. “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”