I was preaching from Titus 3:1-8 recently. In verse one, Paul tells Titus to "do whatever is good."
I stopped my sermon and asked two of my teenagers, one 17 and one 15, what does the word "whatever" mean to them. Neither one answered. Maybe they were afraid they would say something that everybody would laugh at.
When I asked them if whatever had a good meaning, they both shook their heads no. I proceeded to ask a teacher if she heard whatever used very often. The reply was yes. And when asked her definition of whatever she replied, "I don't care."
That's a pretty good definition of the use of the word in today's language. My dictionary defines whatever as a pronoun, a compound relative, the whole that; anything that; no matter what: often added for emphasis to a negative assertion. Whatever!
Going back to Titus, Paul uses whatever in a positive manner. He tells Titus to "do whatever (anything that) is good." It becomes an idea that we should all use.
My question for you today is what are you doing that is good? I am afraid that we really do not think about our actions in light of the idea of whether it is good or not. What can we do that is good?
Many times, when we do think of doing something good, we think of something big. It can be that but it does not have to be that. Here are some suggestions.
- The first one is smile. It is such a simple thing. But it can change your outlook. We do not realize the difference it can make in someone's life. So smile.
- Do a good deed daily. I learned that from the Boy Scouts. Each day as a scout we were supposed to do at least one good deed. The old picture of the scouts was helping an older person across the street. Some would say that is too simplistic. I would disagree.
The good deeds that we can do are endless. Shovel a neighbor's sidewalk. That would be good one for this winter. Brrr.
- Check on someone who lives alone. We just do not know how some of these people are getting along.
- Take someone some homemade cookies. Maybe I had better qualify that one. You probably would not want some of my homemade cookies. I hope you get the idea.
- Encourage someone. You can do this many ways. Send them a card or a handwritten note or give them a call. Praise them for some good that they have done or give them hope that tomorrow will be a better day. Empathize with them.
- Tell a joke. You have to be careful about this one. The best way to keep out of trouble on this one is tell the joke on yourself.
There are plenty of ways that you can do good. Search and find the best way for you.
Finally, "do whatever is good."
(The opinions of this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Inter-Mountain, the Randolph County Ministerial Association or the author's church affiliation.)