Why “Do Good” For No Reason?

Have you ever felt like you were wasting your time trying to do something good? You go out of your way to lend a hand. You hold a door and smile, hoping to brighten a glum person’s day. You take the first step toward reconciliation.

And each time you wonder why you bothered. There’s no acknowledgment of the effort made. No appreciation. No reciprocation.

Even if we genuinely want to help others without expecting anything in return, it is hurtful when there’s no response or, worse yet, a bad response to our good efforts. Often “doing good” doesn’t seem to make a difference. So why keep trying?

On the wall of her home for orphaned children in Calcutta, India, Mother Teresa wrote this:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

In her song “Anyway” Martina McBride expresses similar encouragement to keep doing good:

You can spend your whole life building something from nothing. One storm comes and blows it all away. Build it anyway.

This world’s gone crazy. And it’s hard to believe that tomorrow will be better than today. Believe it anyway.

You can love someone with all your heart for all the right reasons. And in a moment they can choose to walk away. Love them anyway.

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good. When I pray, it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should. But I do it anyway.

Truth is that the results we see and experience from our “good” efforts are not the full story. Doing good is about allowing God’s love to flow through us, not seeing a good outcome. By doing good we’re planting seeds in the lives of others. They may be in a dark or desperate place when we reach out a hand to help, and we may not receive any acknowledgement or appreciation. But we need to reach out anyway. Our gesture of kindness and love may be a spark that lights a new fire of hope in their life.

We also gain by doing good because our roots of trust in God grow deeper. Even when our prayers aren’t answered the way we think they should be, we allow God to transform us when we turn our focus from our circumstances to helping others.

At the end of the day, we’re called to love others with the same love Jesus has for us. By doing good without expectation of anything in return, we’re living in His love and opening our heart to be filled with His joy.

So even if doing good doesn’t seem to make a difference, do good anyway. And let the love and joy of Jesus overflow in your life.

“‘When you obey Me you are living in My love, just as I obey My Father and live in His love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your cup of joy will overflow!’” John 15:10-11 (TLB)

Let’s talk: What is something you “do anyway” even though you’re not sure it makes a difference?

May I pray? Jesus, thank You for loving us, and loving others through us. Lift our spirits and encourage us today to do good, even if it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Help us to see others from Your loving perspective. May we joyfully reach out to help and encourage them, including our sisters in Christ. Amen.

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When Enough is Never Enough

When was the last time you had everything you wanted? Splurge to lift your spirits. Save for something big. What is enough, really?

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Cross the Starting Line - Just Start!

Is it harder to cross the starting line or the finish line? We often don’t move forward because we’re too afraid of the unknown. Just start!

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Getting What You Ask For and More

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What Would Your Last Words Be?

If you knew you were going to die and you could speak to a group of people, what would you say? This is the story of Rachel Barkey, age 37.

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I Am Second

We push hard to be first but we’re broadsided by reality. Life can stink! New life is possible once we stop trying to control our destiny.

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Treasures in the Lost and Found

Have you lost something you loved and couldn’t replace? Favorite things are too precious to easily let go. That’s how God feels about you.

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Who is Jesus?

Around the world, people today are laying down their lives to talk about Jesus. Who is He?

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Love Notes from God

Until recently, I never realized how many love notes God sends us every day. He speaks. We have to be ready to look and listen.

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Wallenda’s Praise & Prayer at 1500'

Nik Wallenda crossed the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. No net, no harness. Wallenda’s peace and courage came from Jesus. Ours does too.

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Not Everything Happens for a Reason

“Everything happens for a reason” suggests there can be a good twist. Even terror, murder & abuse? No! Not everything is good or from God.

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When Plans and Dreams are Shattered

When our lives come to a screeching halt because of bad surprises, how can we hold onto faith? We can’t just pretend everything is fine.

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Want to be Happy? Practice “Happy”!

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” So do this: Practice being happy this holiday season – and it will carry on to next year!

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Past Scars: Stepping Stones to Purpose

We can find purpose if we realize our past struggles allow us to help others who are struggling. No shame and no fear of our past in Christ!

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What Happens To Us When We Die?

Many of us aren’t sure what’s next when we die, so we don’t think about it. But in a crazy world like ours, people are starting to wonder.

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What Are You Doing With Your Dash?

When we die there will be 2 numbers: the date we were born & the date we died. Neither matters as much as the dash––our life––in between.

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Your Life Story in 6 Words

Ernest Hemingway’s shortest story- “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Wow! In 6 words can you spark hope? Yes! Tell us your 6 word story!

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Sweet Friendship Refreshes the Soul

Sweet friendship refreshes our soul, like beautiful aromas that engage our emotions and warm our heart with good memories.

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On the Road to New Beginnings

No matter where we’ve been, no matter where we are, we all can experience the joy and richness of new life! I’m living proof.

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Eye of the Storm

Eye of the storm: Place of peace where truth & courage meet. No matter what storm we’re in, we can survive & be stronger on the other side.

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Church: Hospital or Country Club?

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Mud Puddles of Life

Where are you stuck? Fear? Isolation? Shame? Depression? Worry? Mud puddles of life bring hopelessness. But one new step leads to new life!

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This Changes Everything!

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Who is God?

We have our own thoughts about God. But it’s hard to think about having a daily relationship with the Almighty God. He wants that to change.

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Feeling Fruity: It's a Good Thing!

Everyone’s life produces something. How do we get out of the weeds and live a joyful life even in the midst of trials? We grow good fruit.

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Take Your Stand

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We’re stuck in circumstances or bound by guilt, regrets and wounds of the past. We don’t believe we can break free. But we can! Here’s how.

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5 Steps On the Right Path Forward

When it comes to life, most of us aren’t where we think we should be. But there’s a path of life marked out for you – and you can find it.

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What Will God Really Do For You?

Does God care? If the creator of the universe is busy with wars, famine, asteroids, floods and tragedies, how can He have time for us?

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Celebrating Small Victories

When was the last time you celebrated a victory? Sometimes we don’t feel like we have much to celebrate. But that can change!

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When the Road Gets Tough

Keep moving forward! We can’t let fear, doubt, or any other feelings hold us in bondage. We are survivors, given strength to overcome.

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3 Remedies for Spiritual Dehydration

Ever feel wilted, like you’re thirsting for more in life? We get weary and need renewal. But we can’t quench our soul-deep thirsts by ourselves.

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God Loves You Because…

The first step to believing God loves you is to understand why He loves you. That’s where transformed lives begin.

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3 Steps Toward Good Life

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Encouragement For The New Year

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