I Timothy 5:24-25 24The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. 25In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.
We as Christians (and many times as a church) tend to talk a lot about the theme of verse 24. So many times it is easy to lean on the negative and focus on the sins of others and the “just consequence” for those sins; or our wish on those “sinners” that “they will get theirs”. There is truth in the fact that “your sins will find you out eventually”. It is also comforting to know that God will administer justice. However, I want to focus less on the judgment/consequences for sins and look more at the reward for good deeds. As I do this, I do not want to take lightly the fact that all believers need to be called into account for their actions. Living in truth creates such freedom that being called into account (though painful at times) is such a gift as it releases us from the bondage of being out of integrity.
What I really like in this passage is verse 25. Our world is so focused on the negative. Satan continually suggests the negative. It is hard to look past sin to see the light. Verse 25 encourages us to see that there is a reward for good deeds as well. I love how it points out that good deeds are “obvious”. Good deeds make all involved feel happier. This includes the giver, the receiver, and the observer. There is just something about a good deed that makes light shine brighter.
I also love that those deeds not so obvious are also noticed somewhere. The verse says that these deeds “cannot be hidden”. Even if the person you or I intended to notice does not, the deeds are not hidden. If nothing else, both you/I and God notice. Just the knowledge of God alone noticing should be enough for me. This verse reminds me of that notion. Why should my mindset be that I should do my deeds so not to draw attention to myself? Maybe it is to live in such a way that my motivation is based on the knowledge that all goodness comes from God; even that goodness that was created in me as God knit me together in my mother’s womb. Furthermore, when I do good deeds just to gain glory for myself, I find that the good feelings are short-lived and shallow. The need for affirmation becomes addictive and hard to keep up. When I do my good deeds to satisfy only God and the goodness within me, I find truer satisfaction and deeper, meaningful reward.
Accountability has its place. It should be practiced with good intention…the betterment of the receiver. Good deeds and the recognizing of such should be practiced all the more. Let’s swing the balance more toward the positive starting today!
1. What are the areas of your life where you need to be called into account?
2. The challenge here is to reveal those areas somewhere to someone in order to be free to do good deeds.
3. List some of your good deeds from this past week.
4. What gifts from God did you receive from these good deeds?
5. This week, challenge yourself to do something good in secret where only you can give yourself a “high five” and God can reward. Pay attention to your heart and the blessing that come from this act.
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