God loves a do-gooder.

But it’s not that being a nice person earns you God’s attention; God sees us no matter what we do. When we let go of our hesitancy and do good, we glorify God.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,

When it is in your power to do it.

Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back,

And tomorrow I will give it to you,”

When you have it with you.

Do not devise harm against your neighbor,

While he lives securely beside you.

Do not contend with a person for no reason,

If he has done you no harm.

Do not envy a violent person,

And do not choose any of his ways.

For the devious are an abomination to the Lord;

But He is intimate with the upright.

The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,

But He blesses the home of the righteous.

Proverbs 3:27-33

For some of us, this is easy! Going and doing for others and getting recognition and praise feels nice, as it should. We should avoid doing so to the detriment of our own families however. The home of the righteous needs to practice doing good to one another as well as the neighbors. “Do not withhold good” includes the people you live with.

So when we model that practice at home, it makes it so much easier to do good without expectation of glory. It’s true, cleaning something someone missed at home will get you a lot fewer kudos than picking up litter, but if you ignore trash at home, litter is just a chance for good PR. Going out of your way to make sure you take an extra turn in the kitchen is thankless but if you don’t feed your family, the soup kitchen is a branding exercise.

“Take care not to practice your righteousness in the sight of people, to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, so that they will be praised by people. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your charitable giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:1-4

Make sure that being a good citizen starts where no one sees it, so that when you do something that might get noticed, it glorifies God.

Ethan Kirl