This past June marked four years since the advent of my reading addiction. It began innocently enough with the goal of reading one book per month but this craze has now culminated to a point of madness. Case in point: I frequently find myself reading 3 (sometimes more!) books at a time and endlessly adding to my carts on both Amazon and Ebay. Oh yes, and I also frequent our local library. I seriously did not see this spiral coming- nor did I foresee the way this would radically change my life.
While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the classic fiction and biographies I’ve read over the last 48 plus months, it has been the deep delve into theological books that has been transformative- but not in the way you might think. While yes, those books have been incredible instruments of growth, the real change that has transpired from these readings is the desire to study Scripture more in depth. Without question, my love of the Word has truly been a sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
Yet, I know that although knowledge moves my heart and affections towards my heavenly Father and Savior, it is insufficient if my actions do not reflect what I have learned. For as James 1:22 so convictingly reminds, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” I can only pray the fruit of the Spirit has been increasingly evident in my life, if even in the smallest measure.
The truth is, as followers of Christ we all have a command to love in light of the love that has been lavished upon us; to forgive as we have been forgiven, and to be rich in deed as we have so abundantly received the mercies of God. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul as he wrote to Timothy: “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share” (1 Timothy 6:18). In light of all the riches that we have in Christ, how could we not be rich towards others?
Perhaps you, like myself, are currently completing a quick mental inventory of what these deeds include. To help us out I quickly referenced the Greek term “good works.” “Kalos ergon” translates to “beautiful (or valuable/virtuous) action or task.” In light of this definition, I think the list is infinite! As I evaluate my own life, it seems the challenge lies in both my attentiveness to the opportunities around me and with intentionally seeking out ways to be generous with others.
In order that we might further consider how to be rich in deed, let’s consider the following reflective questions:
Who in my everyday life could use help/support? What are some ways I could meet these needs?
Who in my life could benefit from my financial generosity? (Or what organization?)
Who could currently benefit from my time and attention?
For whom could I be in prayer?
What is an everyday life situation that I have overlooked as an opportunity to be rich in deed? How could I use this situation to bless others?
Who have I not spoken to for a while that I could reach out to?
May we pray diligently to obediently walk in the good deeds that Christ has prepared in advance for us to do. Let us not love in word only but in deed and in truth.