Altruism

This verse from Galatians 6 is one of my favorites, because of the uplifting message that it offers: “do good to everyone.”

It seems to me that we live in such a jaded society these days, where even genuine acts of kindness and altruism can be met with skepticism and rebuke (I know – I’ve experienced it!). While we should always seek to be wise in our dealings with others, remembering to maintain healthy boundaries at all times, I can’t help but wonder: why are we so often disinclined toward offering help and/or hope to those around us?

What I appreciate about this passage is the disclaimer at the front of it: “as we have opportunity….” So, in my view, this does not mean that I am required to befriend every person who comes my way (in fact, such an approach would leave me exhausted emotionally and spiritually), but rather that – when God provides an opportunity and the Holy Spirit is guiding our words and actions – our doing good to others truly honors and pleases Him.

And that’s why we do good to others, ultimately – not because of what they’ll give to us in return (likely nothing), or even because of the way that the experience makes us feel; no, we choose to obey this command because we know that such actions please our Father in heaven, and we desire to do good to Him, too. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Altruism

  1. Yup, I liken “as we have opportunity” to that part in 1 Peter 3.15 “..to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope you possess.” God takes on the whole world, but He doesn’t give each of us the whole world. I don’t think we are to beat any bushes to glean out recipients. We need His discernment to find who He gives us. In the meantime, we are to be kind, to do good, to everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right – those two verses do complement one another quite well, now that I think of it. When we are following the Spirit’s leading, then we can trust that He’ll lead to us to do the right thing at the right time – no more, and no less – to the person He has in mind. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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