No Good Deed

No Good Deed

You know the old phrase, “No good deed goes unpunished”.  This sarcastic phrase is meant to depict the idea that every time we do a good deed, or so it seems, we are repaid with difficulty or evil.  It speaks of our shattered expectations.  It is not that we expect to be rewarded for doing something nice or good...it is just that we do not expect to be given a hard time or chided for not doing it better. You give up your time and energy to try and help someone and their reaction is less than grateful.  Sometimes they share with you how your efforts did not measure up and how you could do it better next time.  Usually that kind of response does not motivate you to try and help even more.  In fact, if we are being honest, the thoughts and comments that flow through your mind are usually not ones that Jesus would have.  Unless the Spirit fills us with supernatural love, being punished when doing good will lead to limiting our efforts to help.  


Listen to Hebrews 6:10  “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Don’t you just love the Bible?  Our creator, the author of the Bible, knows us better than we even know ourselves.  He knows it is difficult to do good works due to the reaction of those we try to help.  So he reminds us that he is not unjust, he always does what is right, and he does not overlook when we do works of love towards others.  He sees them and he rewards them.  In the book of Revelation, the Lord speaks to those martyred for their faith and he reminds them that their works will follow them into heaven.  Their works, that got them killed on earth, will be rewarded in heaven. That truth, that God sees and rewards our good works, should be enough to keep us from being sluggish in our good works.  It should be enough to have faith and patience to receive the promises that God gives to those who seek to do good in his name.


The promise that God sees and rewards is a great promise.  It brings great encouragement and hope.  But I am most excited about how God sees my humanity, knows the flaws and difficulties of my heart, and then speaks to my heart, through his word, time and time again.  Each time, I am beginning to see and learn, he speaks to my heart by giving himself to me.  In this passage, he knows it is hard to receive evil for good and so he promises that he, who is never unjust, sees what I have done.  He gives me his attention and he, whom I seek to please the most, reminds me that he is pleased.  I wish I was so secure and mature that I did not need some “attaboys” from time to time.  But I am not sure that any of us ever will get to that point.  It is part of being human to want to know that our good deeds are doing good.  So God gives us his assurance that he will give us all the “attaboys” we need.  He knows the good that we do.  So great to have an empathetic Father.



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