Doing Good v. Knowing All The Right Answers

It’s important to know the right answers to the right questions, granted: Who is Jesus? What did He teach? What must I do to be saved?

But knowing all the right answers on all the issues and to all the questions about what must be right and wrong in any given situation is far from enough. Doing what’s good – without judging others; just judging for one’s self – is at least as important (and maybe far more important) to the person who wants to live a life pleasing to God.

How can I say that?

“To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.” – Romans 2:7

“Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” – 1 Corinthians 8:1b

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

Because Paul said so.

“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.” – Titus 3:14

Because Paul’s letter to Titus said so. (Four times in a very short letter.)

“You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” – Acts 10:37-38

“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. … For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.” – 1 Peter 2:12, 15

Because Peter said so.

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” – James 4:17

Because James said so.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:31

Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.” – Luke 11:46

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ ” – Matthew 25:34-36

Because Jesus said so.

“And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” – Genesis 2:16-17

Because God said so.

Scripture approves of study and knowledge of God’s will and His heart. Scripture disapproves of false teaching and heresy.

Yet nothing in scripture says or implies that our acumen in logic nor our ability to research Biblical languages nor our propensity to create issues nor our so-called wisdom in knowing all the right answers to all the wrong questions has anything to do with a life that is transformed by the love (and into the image) of Christ.

It should go without saying you can’t know without doing.

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8 thoughts on “Doing Good v. Knowing All The Right Answers

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one that was thrown off by the Titus comment…Nevertheless…Excellent thoughs, Keith. I can’t help but think that it’s kind of like the difference between knowing about God and actually <>knowing<> Him, having that relationship with Him. As Jesus said, <>“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”<> But not only that, it’s good for us to do what He would have us to. He tells us < HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt.%207:24-27&version=31" REL="nofollow">this story<>, which I’m sure you’ve probably been familiar with since you were little. James elaborates on this as well, as he says, <>“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.”<>

  2. Okay, I’ll clear up the Titus thing.“Because Paul’s letter to Titus said so.” Instead of “Because Titus said so.”I guess Titus never got the letter, since he went on a rampage and demolished Jerusalem and the temple.(Just kidding. Different Titus.)

  3. Good post Keith.Q: How do I do that? How do I allow myself to be Ok with not knowing the answers?That is clearly my biggest problem.

  4. I wish I knew the answer to that, JP. I think Paul the apostle would answer, “Prove all things. Hold on to what’s good.” That’s a better answer than any I could come up with, and it still doesn’t answer the question fully.Job lost it all, and wanted to know the answers and God more or less let him know that he couldn’t understand the answers even if God told him.But I know I’m okay with a lot of other things in life that I don’t understand the answers to … whether light is a wave or a particle or both; how network television survives after decades of mostly-worthless programming; why my wife continues to love me even though I’ve never been able to pursue a single career.Doing good makes sense to me. It helps others. It helps me. I believe it glorifies God and pleases Him. It’s what He did, whether we have always recognized it as such or not – and it’s what He wants us to do.I can’t explain why. I just can’t help but feel that there is a way that the universe ought to be; a way that leads to order and healing and love rather than chaos and destruction and selfishness.“We learn by doing,” my old hero Captain Kirk told one of his cadets. (Trying to get the young Vulcan to appreciate humor, by the way.)Over the years, I think I’ve learned more about what makes human beings noble and decent through the sharing of kindness than I have even by reading and study and research. You don’t have to be smart to be good.You just have to <>want<> to.(Thanks for dropping by, bro!)

  5. “You just have to want to”I do. I always have and likely always will. My mind will not allow me.I know you have addressed it before but its the whole “why does god allow evil” bit that holds me back. I can not grasp it or find an answer to satisfy me.

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