Posted by: janpierce | March 14, 2011

Your Good Works

        I attend a small community church which feels like a large family. I love it. I often marvel at the scope and variety of “good works” done by the people of our little group. There is work being done in far-off places such as Sierra Leone and Ireland and India. We have people who help distribute food boxes locally and who care for the elderly and the needy in a number of practical ways. I even know of one woman who regularly prepares a sack lunch for a homeless man who happens to stand at a stoplight on her way to work. So we’re a group of people who go and who give.

But now there is the earthquake in Japan and that follows on the heels of the earthquake in New Zealand. There were floods in Australia and the earthquake in Haiti. China has recently had massive mudslides and so has South America. Whole villages and cities are struck down in a matter of minutes. Here in the States we see the city of New Orleans still struggling to find normalcy after their huge flooding disaster several years ago.  How can we possibly react to all these tragedies? What can we do and how are we to live with ourselves when we carry on with business as usual in the midst of the knowledge of all these catastrophes?

Here’s one answer. In Ephesians 2 we’re told that God intended each of us to use the particular set of gifts He placed within us to do good. In fact these good works were designed just for us–we don’t even have to think them up. If we’re listening to the Holy Spirit and doing the things we hear Him say, then we’ll figure out that we’re supposed to make that peanut butter sandwich for the homeless man or send a check to the organization helping out in Haiti. We’ll hear if we’re supposed to go somewhere to meet needs or stay home and serve in our own communities. We’ll do the things set before us and not agonize over the things we can’t touch because they’re too big for us.

Can you imagine a world in which everyone did their part? What would our communities be like if each person did the good works God designed for him or her to do? It would be a gigantic pay-it-forward world and a better one too. No one can prevent the natural disasters from happening, but we can certainly do something to alleviate the pain and suffering in the aftermath. And that’s the key–we can do something, not everything. So….what are the good works you’re called to do? Not sure? One way to find out is to think about and pray about the things you absolutely love to do. Strangely enough, God wants you to do those things. In fact, He’ll be thrilled when you figure that out. He has designed you to be good at certain things, to take delight in doing certain things, to LOVE doing certain things. So go ahead and do them. Sure, there is the time you’ll be asked to clean the toilets and that may not be your ultimate calling, but in general you can be sure that you can give your best to others because that’s the way God planned it. After all we only have two major tasks in this world– to love God and to love other people. Let’s do it.

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Responses

  1. Jan,

    I super like this. I have been thinking these exact thoughts over the past few days but you write it so much better then I ever could 🙂 I wonder sometimes at why the voice of God isnt just a bit louder to all of us. I feel as if I listen but sometimes it is vague and makes me wonder……what am I supposed to be doing? I suppose teaching is a huge part of that so I walk in faith that this is true, but if everyone was asking this it would be life changing for so many!

    • There is no doubt that your teaching is an important part of “hearing” and doing. I just read yesterday about a teacher friend who went the extra mile for a student with tourette’s. She literally changed his life by taking him under her wing. Now he’s a successful adult and still keeps in touch with her. Teachers are in a position to really make a difference. The other big thing for me is finding enough quiet to hear. Even though I have a lot more time now, I still keep my mind and body busy running around and often forget to give myself the gift of quiet and meditation. When I finally do it I’m always glad I did.


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