Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Good Deeds

Let each man think himself an act of God, His mind a thought, his life a breath of God; And let each try, by great thoughts and good deeds, To show the most of Heaven he hath in him.  Philip James Bailey

What would you do if you were walking down the street and someone stopped you to give you money? Would you refuse it or take it? What if the money in question was a $100 bill?

A few weeks ago, a number of people were the recipients of a man’s generosity. Richard Wright, of Prince Edward Island, Canada, was handing out $100 bills and silver coins to people who passed by in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As he handed the money out, he told the people to simply “thank God” for their windfall. He added that they should pass the money on to someone else if they could not use it themselves.

People who received the generous gift were grateful. They commented to local papers that it was good to see that there are good people left in the world and that the money was a true blessing. None of the people who got the money were upset or thought he should be stopped. However, as one old adage says, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

When Mr. Wright returned home, he was detained by the police for a “wellness check.” This resulted in him being hospitalized in the psychiatric ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. Even though psychiatrists, in the nearby town of Dartmouth, had said there were no mental health issues, he was still admitted for “suspicious generosity.”
Richard Wright in his hospital room

When the story of his being detained reached the news, many people were upset. Petitions were signed, a Facebook page was posted and the telephones at the hospital were jammed with people demanding Mr. Wright’s release. Finally, he was freed with no conditions and is back with his family.

Many good deeds are done every day with no problems. Doors are help open for others, meals are paid for by strangers at fast food drive through windows and many other acts of kindness happen regularly. However, when the good deed is a large one, it is looked on with suspicion.

As Christians, we are called to do good deeds for others. In fact, we are told that it is especially good to do things for those who cannot ever repay you. God intends for His children to be the greatest example of generosity in the world, even if it means being ridiculed by the world.

Think about all the wonderful things Jesus did for people who did not know Him, who could not repay Him and even for those who hated Him. In fact, Jesus laid down His life for those who love Him and also for those who scorn Him. He was the ultimate “good deed doer,” but because of His “suspicious generosity,” the people had Him crucified. However, they didn’t know that His death and resurrection would be the greatest “good deed” in the history of the world.

Jesus died and rose again so that we would have life eternal and a better life on earth. The greatest good deed you can do for anyone is to tell them about the love that brought God down from heaven, to become one of us, that we might have new life. There may be those who think we are crazy, but God will be honored in what you do for others.

Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:8-10)

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