“So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. “ Galatians 6:10 NRSV
Years ago, I was a salesperson at JC Penney in the Electronics Department. One Christmas, a farmer, came in wearing his muddy bib-overalls and boots. Having worked a long day, he also didn't smell all that pleasant. My associates, figuring it would be a waste of time, conveniently found other urgent tasks requiring attention. In talking with the gentleman, he expressed interest in microwaves. At that time, they were new and expensive. After answering his questions and walking through the features of each, he made a selection. As I was writing up the invoice, he told me he wanted to buy three as gifts, coming to a total of $1200 and earning me a nice 10% commission. This experience taught me not to judge people by appearance and not be bashful in seizing opportunities.
Today's verse encourages us to use opportunities to do good for everyone, especially for other Christians. Sometimes in doing good, it is easy to forget those in our own families who also need our love and support. For United Methodist’s, John Wesley's first rule “Do Good” of the Three Simple Rules is familiar, "Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can." It sounds like a wonderful recipe for life, doesn’t it?
Sometimes we may opt-out of opportunities because we're fearful, apathetic, or we may think the good we do will do little to help. Worst case, we become like the Oscar Wilde quote, "A pessimist is somebody who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks." We get so tired of hearing the pleas that we shut out the noise.
In doing good to others, we are also helping ourselves. We receive joy and fulfillment by demonstrating Christ’s kingdom on earth.
Heavenly Father, we give thanks for opportunities to do good. Each day you provide us with the privilege of demonstrating to others your love. Please help us to seize the opportunities with enthusiasm as they arise. Help us to overcome our fears, uncertainty, and pessimism that we may be your witness to the world. Remind us not to forget our brothers and sisters in Christ as we are doing good -- the “ALL” includes them as well. In the mighty name of your Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen.
What opportunities are calling you today? How will you respond with good?