'Do-Gooder' Christianity

There's something about saccharine Christianity that seems sickly, to the point that we sniff it out a mile off, then walk a mile in the other direction to avoid it. We've all met these Christ followers, and maybe, we've been one of these sickly sweet Christians ourselves. Personally, I've spent the vast majority of my Christian life trying to distance myself from the 'do-gooder' label by passionately following after Christ, without being a complete weirdo!

The problem with this disdain for 'do-gooder' Christianity is that we risk missing a significant aspect of what it means to be shaped by the gospel. As Paul writes to the Galatian church, imploring them to return to the heart of the gospel, he states the following in Galatians 6:9-10.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Paul has just spent an entire letter drawing people back to the foundation of the good news of new life in Christ that comes through faith; the gospel. The gospel is more than a one-dimensional list of propositional truths, or an academic adherence to religious philosophy; the gospel is a living, breathing life we've entered into. When your life is captured by Christ, you become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and the gospel begins to shape your life. Paul commits a large part of this brief letter to exploring what this gospel-shaped life will look like, and much to my surprise, it involves a consistent 'do-good' lifestyle.

The problem here is that some of us (read, 'I') have mistakingly associated 'good works' with some type of 'fake' Christianity that parades itself in public wearing a thin plastic veneer. And while this has sometimes been the case, it is wrong of me to throw the baby out with the bath water on this issue.

Maybe it's a cultural thing, after all, we Australians rarely want to show that we're too excited about anything! But I think it's more than that.

I don't mind 'chipping in' every now and again, and I'm not against giving a mate a hand once and a while, but am I really known for 'doing good to everyone, at every opportunity'?

I need to be reprimanded by the gospel. I can barely say I've grown 'weary' in doing good when I've barely begun to do good!

The gospel shapes its people to be committed to emptying themselves for the sake of others, after all, that's exactly what Christ has done for us.

So for Christ's sake, I need to be known as a 'do-gooder' Christian. As we each commit to serving each other through good deeds, not to gain the favour of God, but because in Christ we have the favour of God, the world will see a sweet demonstration of what Christ has done for us.

This isn't about saccharine Christianity. This is about the aroma of new life.

This is about a tangible demonstration of the gospel.

Galatians 6:9-10
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.