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“Don’t forget to do good…”

I’ve often heard people misquote this verse and others with a similar message to justify their social activism and political agendas even though their ‘actions’ are completely contradictory to the context and whole of the Bible message.

‘Good’ can not be defined in human terms because ‘good’ in human terms is relative to the situation at hand and the mindset of the person or group defining it. Is the good you are doing helping the good of the majority of people who think like you do?

On the other hand, ‘good’ defined by God’s standards is impossible to attain without the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The guidance of the Holy Spirit will never contradict God’s word. It is what empowered Jesus during the wilderness temptations to stay true to his mission and resist satanic influences. Each of the things Satan tempted Christ to do were not wrong in and of themselves but the motive behind them was!

When we consider our ‘good’ actions measure them according to the standards God instituted. Then thank him profusely for grace because even at your best you can’t do everything perfect. Thank him for his inner peace too because if you stand with God, you will ultimately stand against culture and society.

You’ll fair better in the long run when you stand with the one who holds your eternity in his hand that you will standing with those whose future is limited to this world. Your good deeds should be done according to God’s standards, not the whims and fickle ways of culture.


I’ve read these verses a hundred times before I realized what total devastation is being described. The entire economy of the nation Israel was dependent on agriculture. We are blessed today to be diverse in our economy and global in our accessibility of the staples of life. Not so the readers of Habakkuk.

We are a generation of the entitled. We naturally expect that if we are uncomfortable, someone is to blame and someone better fix it. If our marriage is unfulfilling we seek other partners; if our church isn’t entertaining enough, or doesn’t make me feel happy, I’ll go elsewhere; If you talk about sin, or point out my failings you are judgmental and I’m going to unfriend you.

We tend to make the same expectations of God. But the testimony of Habakkuk, Job, David, James, Peter and many others in scripture (including Jesus himself!) sends a message loud and clear to those of us who claim to love God and believe in his sovereignty.

The rest of the world can fall apart around me. My relationships my fail me. My job may not pay enough to meet my needs. I may not like the music at my church. My health my be faltering. I may be ashamed of my _____________ (fill this one in yourself). Yet, although I may not understand; although I may struggle to believe; although I may not see the evidence, YET I put my trust in you O God because I know, ultimately your way is best.


To those of us who are Christ-followers, we must realize that we speak a language few understand, and the problem is becoming increasingly evident.

Several years ago our family traveled to the SW United States. Since we were only a few miles from the Mexican Border, we decided to cross over and see this foreign land that is our neighbor. None of us spoke Spanish. None of us had ever experienced a situation in which we were obviously the minority. It was an interesting lesson to learn!

Don’t get me wrong. The people were very friendly and tried to be accommodating. There were a few smiles which I assume could have been translated as “silly Americans!”

The problem wasn’t intelligence. The problem wasn’t arrogance or racism. The problem was we didn’t speak the language. We tried. The people tried. But while there was some similarity, there was an obvious communication gap.

I see similar situations in the church today. We need to come to the point where we realize we live in a post Christian Era and a post Christian America. Regardless of who’s to blame, we simply don’t speak a language others understand.

Don’t ridicule the natives. They simply don’t understand. Our visit to Mexico and a small cafe was ‘rescued’ when a server knew English. He could translate to our server what we wanted to eat.

In the spiritual realm we also have a translator, the Holy Spirit. I’ve tried to remember to pray that the Spirit would speak to those in my circles that need Jesus. I can say my words. I can tell my story. But HE is the one who will give understanding. Don’t just pray for those you know who need Jesus. Ask His Spirit to ‘interpret’ the message for you.


Back in the 1990’s there was a clever marketing campaign which, I believe, was a true attempt to remind people of our original calling: To live by example the good news of the Gospel as personified in the life of Jesus Christ.

Many a T-shirt, can cooler, visor, and bracelet were sold with the initials, WWJD. Today, the question is as valid as it was then. What would Jesus do? I doubt he would lash out at Caesar for his handling of the Roman Empire. Judging from his treatment of the woman guilty of adultery, I”m guessing he would not condemn those who live a life contrary to God’s original plan for family.

Jesus Christ found the perfect balance between reaching out to the ‘deplorables’ while at the same time standing for the standards of his Heavenly Father. How unfortunate that 2000 years ago people of ill repute sought Jesus out and today they tend to scoff, run or hide from the mere mention of his name.

Now more than ever, we who are ‘little Christs’ (the original implication of the title ‘Christian’) ought to strive with every word, with every action, with every attitude, to exemplify the life of the one who called us from darkness.

Be a light. Shine like Jesus did.


In nearly every sermon or article on giving and/or money i’ve heard, this verse or it’s OT counterpart has been mentioned. Maybe it’s time we broaden our giving horizons! We live in a society in which negativity, lack of hope and loneliness are rampant. The principle of this verse goes far beyond the almighty dollar! To have a friend, be a friend; to be heard, listen to others; to be accepted when your beliefs may be different than others, accept others right to be ‘wrong’; to be loved unconditionally, love unconditionally; to receive patience, be patient. Don’t wait for others. Be the start of something great in your life! Receiving starts with giving.

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