Can you imagine how different our world (or even our families) might be if we all sought to live by the principles highlighted in this verse? In my view, there are two key takeaways here:
- We should do good to people we know (“each other”) – our friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, etc.
- We should also strive (with wisdom and prayer) to do good to all people – including individuals unknown to us.
Let’s be real – both commands are challenging (right up there with the Bible’s command to love your neighbor as yourself), but this verse ups the ante a bit, as the concept of doing good implies initiative, effort, and not only thinking of others ahead of ourselves, but pairing this thinking with action.
Come to think of it, maybe we need to be comfortable with the “love one another” command before seeking to live out the “do good” mandate. In my view, the commands are interrelated – is it possible to love someone without doing good to him or her? And may I do good to someone without loving him/her the way the Bible tells us to (not romantic love, but rather the sacrificial love that Jesus models for us)?
As I sit in my car pecking this message out on my iPhone (inspiration for Daily Hopeful hits in some unexpected places!), I find myself with more questions than answers. However, the great thing about our faith is just that – it is faith. We don’t need to have all of the answers, but can instead respond to the principles in God’s Word with steadfast obedience, believing that the Holy Spirit will equip us to (wisely and with great discernment) love and do good to those around us – whether we know them well or not.
Whew! If it were all up to me, I couldn’t do it, but with Him (and through His power), I can confidently take whatever next step that the Lord places before me. 😂 That is surely a reason for hope, my friends!