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Saturday, February 9, 2013

When no good deed goes unpunished…

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

It’s been that kind of day. The kind of day where despite your best effort, doing the right thing gets lost in the shuffle, and you end up apologizing for what, you don’t even know. Some days, no good deed goes unpunished.

I was on the verge of tears several times today; trying in vain to meet someone else’s needs and feeling very much unappreciated.

“Don’t they see how much I do?”

On those days, it is easy to grow weary of trying to do good. I remember in high school and college, one of my favorite lines from a movie I no longer even remember was, “it’s hard to be good.” It was the perfect throw-away line for a good girl trying to be cool and above it all.  It is hard to be good though. Learning to consistently do good, because it is right, is not about keeping score; it’s about changing the game. 

When you are thinking that no good deed goes unpunished, you’ve been seduced into believing that it’s all about you. Poor thing (“so sad, too bad…” that’s what my three year-old godson says). According to Matthew Henry’s commentary,
We are all very apt to tire in duty, particularly in doing good. This we should carefully watch and guard against. Only to perseverance in well-doing is the reward promised. Here is an exhortation to all to do good in their places. We should take care to do good in our life-time, and make this the business of our lives.

You see, it’s not about us.  We do good because we are created to serve and honor Him. So, the next time your nose it out of joint because nobody appreciates ALL that you do, ask yourself, why are you doing it? Is it for the joy of serving, or are you keeping score? And when your giving up more points that you’re collecting, is that a tantrum you’re throwing? REALLY?

I love knowing that despite any challenges in my life, even when the challenge is a liberal dose of self-pity, that God has me covered; that He knew me, before I knew myself. I love (after all is said and done) that my fears, anxieties, and self-imposed drama amount to wasted energy, because He already worked it out. The joy that fills me every day (even on   the no good deed days), extends beyond any of my understanding. I am grateful..I am humbled...I am at peace with the hills and valleys; trusting and knowing that they, too are victories. Thank you, Lord for your sustenance and protection.  As my girlfriend and occasional muse JC wrote,

 If you don't see yourself the way God sees you, you will always misinterpret the conversation He is having with you.
So, don’t be seduced. Don’t misinterpret the conversation. Get over yourself. If you’re thinking that “no good deed goes unpunished, think again. Get over yourself, and then do something nice. Repeatedly. 

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