One-a-Day...for the Heart: Goody Two-Shoes
So, let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith (Galatians 6:9-10 NLT).
The Apostle Paul wrote those words to the Galatians, who were described as impressionable, fickle, and quick-tempered. They listened to Paul as he taught them the true Gospel of Christ’s salvation and grace, but then they quickly embraced the teaching of legalism taught by a group of false teachers who came later. The Galatians’ naivety and instability pulled them away from the gospel of grace, and they became focused on obtaining a good standing with God by “making points” through obeying the law.
Doing good is an outworking of the Holy Spirit in a person’s heart. As Paul writes in Galatians 5:22-23, goodness is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit in a Christian’s life, along with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Jesus never stopped doing good, as Acts 10:38 (NLT) records, and you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Goody Two-Shoes was a children’s story published by John Newbery in 1765. Margery Meanwell was a poor orphan who only had one shoe until a shoemaker gave her a pair of shoes. She was very proud of the shoes and began to see herself differently because of them. She was empowered to better herself through education, became a teacher, and taught other children how to read and better themselves. Margery helped many people as she continued to be a do-gooder and eventually married into a wealthy family (www.EnglishClub.com). The story teaches the value of doing good.
When we refer to someone as a “goody two-shoes,” it means that they are a do-gooder—someone who always follows the rules and doesn’t do anything wrong. The critical aspect of being a do-gooder is that the goodness comes from a proper attitude of the heart. Ulterior motives for personal gain are not godly reasons for doing good. The Lord sees the motives of our hearts and knows whether we’re trying to make a few points with Him or control and manipulate a situation. He knows if our good deeds come from a regenerated heart that reflects Christ’s love and goodness.
A Christian Goody Two-Shoes keeps from intentionally racking up brownie points by checking their heart before giving a gift (Am I giving to get?); offering a compliment (Are my words just empty flattery?); helping someone in need (How can I use him for something I need?), and so on. The Holy Spirit recognizes the pure fruit of His Spirit and will quickly let us know if ours is less-than-quality.
Jesus mentioned the Golden Rule in Matthew 7:12 (NLT), "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” When He said that, it was not instruction on controlling people and getting them to do what you want, like pawns on a chessboard. He can quickly blow the chaff off that pathetic attempt to do good. Instead, the Golden Rule refers to God’s love, not man’s, in directing all we say and do.
To “Do unto others,” as the Bible instructs, means to receive love from God and give it to others—also known as The Royal Law, described in James 2:8-9: If you really fulfill The Royal Law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well. Paul instructs us further to pay special attention to doing good to our Christian brothers and sisters: we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith (Galatians 6:10). Father God does not look favorably on sibling rivalry among His kids.
In doing good, we imitate Christ. As His love and Spirit work within us, there is a never-ending source of life and love to continue to be godly Goody Two-Shoe-ers! Consider these scriptures that remind us to do good:
1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NLT)--See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NLT)--As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.
Luke 6:35-36 (NLT)—The words of Jesus: "Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for He is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.”
Hebrews 13:16 (NLT)--And don't forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)--For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
Psalm 37:3-4 (ESV)--Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
© 2023, Chris Werre