Doing the Best Good

4 Jul

After church, Sunday, I was able to sit down with John Mixon director of Bethesda orphanage just outside Pretoria.  We had an interesting conversation about family orphanages versus orphanages which attempt to house as many children as possible.  By family orphanage, I mean an orphanage which has moms and dads raising a small number of children.  Obviously, ideal – but it limits you on how many children you are able to feed and clothe and provide shelter for.  It seems like an obvious choice – family orphanages until you begin to think about all the children you have to turn away. 

Anyway, that kind of tricky decision reminded me of the fact that in our lives we can only do so much good.  Every time we choose to do one good, we in effect choose not to do another good.  I sometimes feel bad because I am not doing every single good and meeting every single need that is out there.  But the fact is, I can’t.  We have to choose our good.  Now, that’s not an excuse for not doing anything.  It just means, we have the responsibility and privilege of prayerfully thinking about what decisions we can make to do the best good we can before God.

Yesterday, I traveled down to Johannesburg to meet with Brian Biedebach pastor of Grace Christian Church.   We had a great conversation about the role of the church and the place of mercy ministries within the church.  We talked about how in the past, some have fallen for the social gospel where they placed such an emphasis on good deeds that they forgot about the gospel message itself.  Because of that, some react by almost minimizing the importance of doing good deeds.  It’s kind of like they feel like talk about doing good is dangerous because it might distract the church from the gospel and the preaching of the Word.  For me though, the only way I could ever possibly keep doing good is if I’m focused on the gospel.  Doing good always sounds good, but when you start doing good, it’s hard.  It puts you in uncomfortable places.  It causes you to do things you don’t want to do.  And the only way I could ever keep doing things I don’t want to do, doing the unglamorous work of doing good, is by being immersed in the gospel.

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