As this gets posted, I will be in southeast Texas walking amid the fallen trees, flooded houses and messed up lives of brethren who endured Hurricane Ike. Kenny Wells will be working me like a dog. He’ll run me hard and then put me up wet. (Okay, I know that last one actually means being worked like a horse.) After five days of ripping out sheetrock, cutting down trees, hauling wood, there is part of me that wants to say, “Alright, I’ve done my good deeds for this year.”
It is so easy to do something nice and then feel like we can just sit down for a while until that last good deed wears off. That is especially true if our good deed was a biggy. If we sacrificed a lot of time or money, we think the good deed should tide us over.
This approach, however, is not being Zealous for Good Deeds (cf. Titus 2:14). Or, worded another way, this is not being hungry for righteousness (cf. Matthew 5:6).
Let’s think about it in the same way we do hunger for food. I know we sometimes joke around after a big meal like Thanksgiving, “Oh man, I won’t have to eat for a week.” This little joke pretends that our body somehow stores up every bit of the food we eat and until it uses it we won’t be hungry again. I don’t know how many times I’ve used this little joke. What always amazes me is that by the next mealtime, I’m hungry again. And on the rare occasions a big lunch did tide me over for the rest of the day, by the next morning I’m starving (obviously, that is hyperbole because you can look at me and tell I’ve never starved a day in my life). The fact is, it doesn’t matter how big of a meal I eat today, I’m going to be ready for another one by tomorrow at the latest. In fact, I may be ready for a snack in just an hour or two.
That is how our hunger for righteousness or zeal for good deeds should work. Today’s good deeds do not sate us forever. They do not even sate us for the rest of the day. When we see another good deed to be done, we want to jump in there and get after it. In fact, when we don’t see a good deed to be done, we start looking around for one to do.
What good deed are you doing today?