“...they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” (Jeremiah 4:22)
How good are you at doing good? That may sound like double talk, but it’s still a good question. Oh, I know; none of us is good (Rom.3:10); but that shouldn’t keep us from striving to do good. Even a broken clock is right twice a day! Sadly, this verse in Jeremiah says there are people who have mastered the art of doing evil; but remain clueless when it comes to doing good. Why is that, do you think?
Well, the first prerequisite, it would seem to me, would be the ability to know the difference. Not always as straight forward for some as one might think (Isa.5:20). And simply knowing the difference does not always ensure that one will make the right choice between the two. Case in point: Eve got a “taste” of both good and evil; but it didn’t do her (or us) a bit of good. In the final analysis, all she really needed to know was God. He is the only one truly able to list good and evil, right and wrong, in their proper columns for us. No one else can be trusted to always have this kind of discernment.
Then, the way to proficiency in any activity is practice. As the old hymn says, “Each victory will help you some other to win.” You have heard, I’m sure, of “Miss Goody-Two-Shoes.” Well I’m here to say, sometimes she gets a “bum rap.” I’m not extolling the virtues the self-righteous, hypocritical sort, of course; I’m simply championing the kind of woman who jumps in with both feet when it comes to doing good.
Lest we take this commendation too lightly, I would remind you that Peter described our Lord, in Acts 10:38, as a Man who “went about doing good.” Not an especially regal description of the King of Heaven, to be sure; but a clear indication, says Peter, that “God was with him.” And would it not indicate the same thing in us?
You and I, as believers, could do far worse than to have someone carve on our tombstones, the simple inscription: “He (or she) went about doing good.”