Just over 100 years ago, William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army, gave his last speech to a crowded Royal Albert Hall in London, England. In this final speech, he summed up his 60 year ministry with these words:
“While Women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight, I’ll fight to the very end!”
There are some people in our church community who never seem to stop doing good. Whenever I see them, they are serving or washing up, praying for someone, encouraging others, offering to take food to the sick, or doing some other kind act. They give generously to the work of the church. They do all these things with such grace and enthusiasm. I am always encouraged and challenged by their example. They never seem to tire of doing good.
In our society, the term ‘do-gooder’ has become pejorative; it is used as an insult. But doing good should not be seen in this way. Jesus, ‘went around doing good’ (Acts 10:38).
St Paul writes to Titus, ‘Remind the people… to be ready to do whatever is good’ (Titus 3:1). His desire is that those who have trusted in God ‘devote themselves to doing what is good’ (vv.8,14).
To quote John Wesley, ‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.’
Jan Steven is the Pastoral Care Chaplain at Grace Mennonite Church. She is also the webservant.