Being Good Is Doing Good

For a long time, I understood being good as avoiding doing bad and evil things: thou shall not steal; thou shall not kill; thou shall not commit adultery; thou shall not bear false witness. I am not a thief nor a plunderer; neither am I a murderer nor an adulterer; and I am not a perjurer nor a big-time crook. But I know deep inside, I am not a good nor a perfect person. After a while, my trying to be good became a practice in nitpicking. When I bring home extra napkins from a restaurant, is that stealing? When I hurt another person, at what point of the pain that I cause does my action become a sin? What if the other person is just plainly too sensitive, imagining hurt and harm where there are none? If I enjoy looking a pictures of beautiful girls, is that a sin?

But listening and learning from Jesus, I have realized that being good is more than just avoiding doing evil. It is actually doing good things for other people. At Judgement Day, my goodness and fidelity to Him shall not be measured against the commandments of ‘Thou-shall-not’ but by the good I have done for others: did I feed the hunger, slake the thirst of those who are thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick and the needy, console the lonely, visit those in prison or in hospitals?

I do these acts of charity because this is Christ’s great commandment of Love. And when I do so, I do not only follow Christ but I am actually doing these for Him. A deeper spirituality it is when I see Christ in the people I love and serve and do good things to. I pray that I see Christ in my life. He has given me the assurance that when I do these good deeds to others, I am actually doing them for Him and encountering Him in them. I need to mull on this thought and let in sink deep in me until I truly and fully realize its truth and what it means in my life.

“Lord, help me see you in the people you send into my life. Let me see you in their neediness, loneliness and hunger. Give me a generous spirit to give them the love you have shown us.”

Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25:34-40

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