Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Doing Good When It Looks Bad
As one of his requirements in the Cub Scouts, our son Christopher needed to pick up trash in our neighborhood. It was a part of the requirement dealing with learning to care for creation.
Yesterday, I told our son that it was time to meet this requirement. However, he absolutely did not want to pick up trash. When I asked why he didn't want to do it, he replied, "Everyone will think I'm in jail!"
In our community, inmates pick up the trash on the streets as a form of community service. Christopher did not want to be mistaken for an inmate.
His reaction made sense, but he picked up the trash anyway.
Later, I explained that we need to have the courage to do the right thing even when it looks like we're doing something wrong. After all, Mary, the mother of Jesus, looked like she had done something wrong when she was carrying the baby Jesus even though she was not married. In addition, Jesus often looked like he was doing something wrong when he healed someone on the Sabbath or associated with sinful people at a meal. However, in the cases of both Mary and Jesus, they were doing good. And God was pleased, even though others misunderstood.
It's okay to look like you've done something wrong. Just make sure that you've done something good.
"Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil" (1 Peter 3:13-17).