“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
As I was rereading Paul’s letter to the Galatians, I wondered, “why would Paul say ‘especially to those who are of the household of faith'”? He just said to do good to everyone, why emphasize the church?
- You have to start somewhere: For some people, especially those who were new to the church, doing good was opposite of what the world taught. The world emphasized doing good for those who could return the blessing. Do good for those you love or who can help you later, but the early church was full of the poor and outcast. The church was the perfect place to not only do good, but, also, to learn how to love unconditionally.
- Family first: It is a natural thing to do good for members of our family. We don’t necessarily have to like family in order to help family, but Paul’s point was to remind the church that we are family.
- Some are harder to love than others: The church is full of personalities. Some people rub us the wrong way. If we can love people whom we know well, and dislike, but do good for them out of the love of Jesus, then our ability to love anyone is increased.
- Begin with the person in front of you: Mother Theresa taught that a person can become overwhelmed by the massive need of the world. The best plan is to take care of the person right in front of you. As we live together in unity in worship, we become aware of needs that might be hidden in the world, but are revealed in the intimacy of our community.
- Fish for people: When outsiders view the church, if it looks no different than the world, then why would anyone want to inquire about our faith? A healthy, vibrant church filled with people doing good for one another is like bait. Others see your good works and become hooked on Jesus.
- Unfulfilled needs inside the church are distractions: We are less likely to do good outside of the church if we can’t fulfill our needs inside the church. By helping everyone inside the church first, the local body becomes thankful and powerful. We are bonded together in Christ and desire more places to go and do good. We are driven by our deep-seated need to love and perform good deeds in Jesus’ Name.