The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever (I Tim. 5:24-25).
From my 2009 Journal. While meditating on this verse, I came up with the following examples:
- The sins of some are obvious: Someone who yells obscenities and openly threatens a person in a parking lot.
- The sins of others trail behind them: An abuser’s sins are hidden to the world’s eyes; but eventually they become revealed (in the lives of the victims and, of course, at the Judgment Day).
- Good deeds are obvious: Someone gives a large donation to a charity that names a building after him.
- Even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever: when I leave cookies on a neighbor’s porch with no note.
Can you give me more examples?
I’d like to be a better good-deed doer. It doesn’t come naturally to me. Though I have occasionally done something in a generous and spontaneous way, I usually have to plan, set aside time, and then do. But I’m thinking good deeds are more than giving things away or doing an act of service. Could a good deed also be offering a kind word to a frazzled checkout clerk or giving a smile of affirmation to a child or hugging a grieving friend?
I recall the time when our family stopped at an out-of-town gas station to take a much-needed rest stop. I was surprised and delighted to find fresh-cut flowers on the ladies’ bathroom counter. An uncharacteristically clean stall and a fresh odor also caught my attention.
When I emerged from the restroom, I approached the clerk behind the counter and asked if I could see the manager. Her face visibly fell. “Why?” she demanded sullenly. She looked like she’d been caught doing something wrong and went on the defensive. “She’s not here.”
“Okay,” I responded. “I just wanted to tell her how much I appreciated a clean bathroom and especially enjoyed the fresh flowers.”
The change on her face was immediate. With the fear gone, she relaxed and grinned. “I’ll be sure to tell her,” she said. “And thank you so much.” I wondered then how often this tired clerk had to put up with complaining customers. It appeared that this one kind word had made her day.
And now that I’ve told you, my deed is no longer hidden, but maybe it will encourage you to do a good deed today.