Former Arkansas Razorbacks coach Lou Holtz was a strong proponent of the “do right” rule for athletes and inspired his athletes to follow the rule as they interacted with others on and off the athletic field. I agree with Coach Holtz’s “do right” concept as regards Christianity. We can look to God’s word to find that rule of thumb as Paul said “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). This verse reminds Christians to “do right” as we go about doing good always.
Following are some ways Christians can “do right” by doing good. The first God-given mission for a Christian is “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them…teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19, 20). It’s not possible for a Christian to literally go into all the world to physically teach but we can “do right” by this commandment to spread the gospel by taking advantage of mission opportunities to send the gospel to the world. Christians “do right” by reaching out with mercy and compassion to “the fatherless and widows in their affliction” (James 1:27). We do this as we support efforts to take care of the orphans and widows. Christians “do right” when they “bear one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2) by being there for them with money, time, energy and effort. There are many more examples in God’s word of means whereby Christians can “do right” by doing good.
Above, we’ve spoken about “doing right (good).” Contrarily, let’s think about how we “waste good.” We “waste good” when we fail to do all we can to help others. There are many who need to be taught, visited and have their burdens lifted but we don’t teach, we don’t visit, and we don’t ease their burdens. We “waste good” when we don’t use even our simple opportunities to ease the pain and suffering of others and help them to see the love of God in our lives and let them know they can have that same depth of love in their own lives. We “waste good” when we fail to be kind to others by so simple a thing as holding a door for them to go through or by frowning instead of smiling. There are many, simple ways in which Christians “waste good” by failing to be Christ-like in their day-to-day living. Whether on or off the athletic playing field, whether in or away from the church building, people “waste good” by not exercising a good, positive attitude that lets others know they are Christians who care.
We “waste good” when we fail to reach out to delinquent members who no longer attend services regularly. Quite often we hear the blame game by a delinquent person as they say “no one visited us” and we need to remove that crutch. We can also “waste good” when we expect others to do for us what we should do for ourselves. A good example of this happens when we depend on someone else to carry the gospel message to our friends and neighbors instead of fulfilling our own obligation to do so. Unfortunately, we see so many examples of how we “waste good” in our daily living.
Christians will never “waste good” when they go about the “Father’s business” as Christ did and “do all to the glory of God.”
Royce Pendergrass (1941-2017)
Central Avenue church of Christ