Tag Archives: Good works

Good Works

Throughout much of the Middle East it is illegal to convert to Christianity from Islam. And yet hundreds of Muslims break that law willingly.  A church near the Syrian border has recently baptized over 800 converts.  One couple explained their decision before the judge: “When we lived in Syria the Muslims in ISIS murdered three quarters of our family before we could escape.  But here, the Christians have done nothing but love us, shelter us, feed us and clothe us.  So, tell us: Why shouldn’t convert?”

The judge dismissed the charges and let them go.

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.  (1 Peter 2:15)

What It’s For…

A catalog of toys for the very wealthy features a hammer, so well made and balanced, it costs nearly $200.  It comes with it’s own display box. You can set it on the desk in your office, smugly showing your clients and colleagues that you own a better hammer.  Big deal!  That’s not what hammers are for.

In the previous post, I explained how you can have spiritual wisdom and understanding that surpasses that of a mountaintop guru. (See: Without Boots or Beard)  But so what?  What on earth would you do with such wisdom and understanding?  What’s it for?  It’s not just for putting on display, not even on  some Tibetan peak.

Paul prayed his friends might attain spiritual wisdom…

“…so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…”  –  (Colossians 1:10)

Spiritual wisdom is for using,  for living.  You’ve heard the old saying, “He’s so spiritual he’s no earthly good.”  Rubbish.  If you have spiritual wisdom and understanding, you live better, more fully.  Peyton Manning excels at football because he has studied the game.  He plays with wisdom.  People who have wisdom, from God’s Spirit, understand this gift is meant for living, really living.  Jesus didn’t sit around humming and pondering his belly button.  He lived a robust, energetic life, filled with purpose.

But what does “worthy of the Lord” mean?  It almost sounds as though Paul wants them to measure up so God won’t be mad.  That’s not it.  It means to live in such a way that the advantages of spiritual insight are fully brought to bear in everything you do.  If you own a Ferrari and only drive it down to the corner store for milk, you’re not using it in a manner worthy of the power under the hood.  If you have wisdom and understanding from God and don’t do anything but sit around singing hymns, you’ve wasted His power. 

Spiritual wisdom is for “bearing fruit in every good work.”. That may be as simple as giving a cup of water to someone who is thirsty.  Or, it could look like the good work of a guy I know who goes around the country, helping people clean up after a tornado or a flood. 

By the way, I’ve seen that guy’s hammer.  He doesn’t keep it in a display box…