In America today, we have the highest percentage of people who say they have no spiritual affiliation. There is a growing generation that is disillusioned with organized religion, especially Christianity.
I believe the main reason for this is because when the non-religious people meet the religious people they see a huge disconnect between the religious people’s beliefs and lifestyles. In my own experience as a pastor, I’ve found that most Christians’ lives don’t reflect the very words Jesus taught. Our character, relationships and even how we spend our money doesn’t accurately reveal our faith.
In the Epistle to Titus, the Apostle Paul writes to a young pastor on the island of Crete who was facing a lot of similar challenges within the Church. During this time, the culture of Crete reflected a lifestyle of moral laxness and corruption, and the Christians were beginning to adopt a lot of the Cretan’s attitudes and behaviors.
Paul instructs Titus to teach the Christians to reject this Cretan immoral lifestyle and to live like Christ instead – to do whatever is good.
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. (Titus 3:1-2)
Yet for many of us who are seeking to walk with God, we see “doing good” as important but not a requirement. We might wonder, if we’re completely forgiven and saved by grace (Eph 2:8), then why does it really matter if we do good works or not?
The truth is, doing good matters a lot to God! This is an issue that is just as important to us now as it was during the Apostle Paul’s time. The Scriptures are clear that doing good is more than just the icing on the cake in our relationship with Christ.
What is “doing good”? It is not about trying hard to be a moral person or checking off a list of good deeds. It’s a mindset, a thought life, and a relational aspect. It’s about loving ourselves, others and God.
Doing good matters because it reveals God’s loving and grace-filled passion for all people. The message of the Gospel is validated by the peace and purity of our lives and the concern we have for each other.
God calls us to shine brightly! In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus told us that we are the light of the world. He said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Our doing good also reveals Christ’s supernatural presence in our lives. When we become saved, something supernatural happens to our lives and priorities.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:11-14)
When the grace of God deposits the Spirit of God inside of us it gives us power and a new set of desires to say no to what is ungodly: lying, cheating, immorality, lack of concern for others, etc.
Likewise, if we are walking with the Lord, then we can allow the Spirit of God to produce this real and lasting transformation that is internal and from the heart.
We will have the power to do good in every aspect of our lives — in our families, neighborhoods, and workplaces — to tell the truth, live with a respect for God, and love others.
It’s my hope and prayer that as Christians we will desire and become the kind of people who are eager to do what is good!
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Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip