Doing good works

You have not lived today until you have done 
something for someone who can never repay you.
John Bunyan

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I love hearing stories of women helping others. Recently I came across two that warmed my heart and were great reminders that people still do good works and "Love thy Neighbour".

The first story is about the Wakefield Grannies, a group of older women in Canada making a difference to older women in South Africa. Grandmothers in the small town of Wakefield started a group with the aim of reach out and connecting with grandmothers in South Africa. Many South African grandmothers have the difficult task of raising their grandchildren after loosing their own adult children to AIDS (this has become a growing problem throughout Africa). A wonderful relationship has developed between these two groups of women - many well into their older years and not all in great health - but that hasn't stop them. The Canadian grannies started to write letters of encouragement to the grannies in South Africa and what a differences they have made - older women connecting and talking via letters about things that ladies all around the world love to talk about; their children, their homes, their worries etc. They even exchange handmade gifts which brings great joy. But mostly, the grandmothers in Canada raise large amounts of money to help those in South Africa who are living in poverty and very poor and unsafe conditions.

The other story that warmed my heart was about a group of city women in Australia who wanted to make a differences to those farming families suffering from drought in Queensland. They wanted to bring a little joy to those who living in very remote areas who were suffering financially and emotional from the drought.  They decided to make home cooked treats and called their mission "Baked Relief" and everyone from grandmothers to school children have contributed to the cause. Whilst it won't bring rain or solve the financial difficulties that many farmers are currently struggling with, it does bring a small amount of joy and reminds the farming community they are not alone. (ABC TV Landline report on Baked Relief)

It is often the simple things that we do that make all the differences. Things that bring joy to another human being without asking for anything in return. Those baking may never meet the families they are helping but to them that doesn't matter as they know that their home cooked delights are very welcome and provided temporary relief. 

Even though these stories aren't about Christian women in particular, they are perfect examples of what Christian women should be doing and can do. Whilst I understand that those with younger children have their hands full - older women have far more time and should be reaching out and helping the community in many different ways. Whilst we need to put family first - we also need to help our neighbours, remember there is no greater commandment than this. Even women who are elderly or not in the best of health can help - a simple letter can make all the differences to someone suffering or just lonely. Or perhaps knitting scarves or squares for a blanket can offer warmth for someone cold this winter. The smallest things can make all the differences to someone else. 

However as Spurgeon so well puts it in his 1856 sermon, remember that we do good works not for our own glory and selfishness, but through faith and for God. And when doing good works through God, there is always time and energy for this. 

. . . nothing is a good work unless it is done with a good motive; and there is no motive which can be said to be good but the glory of God. 
He who performs good works with a view to save himself, does not do them from a good motive, because his motive is selfish. He who does them also to gain the esteem of his fellows and for the good of society, has a laudable motive, so far as man is concerned; but it is, after all, an inferior motive.

And even, beloved, when our works are done from the best motives, nothing is a good work unless it is done with faith; for "without faith it is impossible to please God." (Spurgeon, 1856)
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 And whatever you do in word or deed, 
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:17

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Comments

  1. Those are very heartwarming stories, Jo. :)
    It's a shame more Christians don't do good things like this - but then, it is often that unbelievers bring believers to shame because the church (body of Christ) has become so weak in our time in many respects. True believers are too often wrapped up in their own world and comforts OR too busy fighting for "causes" from the comfort of a chair to really do any good in the world. It's sad.
    It is hard to find time to pursue a lot of these things when raising young children, but there are some projects even young families can undertake together to bless others, at times. I think the worst thing of all is the fact that this world is so full of red-tape and formalities and administrations that can make it difficult to help others sometimes.

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    Replies
    1. I was only thinking that when I was writing this - many none christians are far more active when it comes to good works. Whilst it is so much harder with younger children, but as they get older they too can become involved and that might mean writing a letter to someone in need, baking a cake for someone sad or lonely etc… It doesn’t need to be too detailed or time consuming. One of the reasons why I sent my sons to Scouts was the community activities they use to do as it instilled in them “doing good for others”.

      But there are groups that collect hand knitted rugs, dresses for those in third world countries etc.. it just requires some work finding the right group.

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  2. This is an incredible post. It has touched me because of my current situation at home.
    I am severely disabled, sometimes I almost lose all ability to move due to excruciating pain. I have 3 sons. One is too young to realise what is going on. My other two are 10 and 12.
    Recently I have begun to notice the differences in them despite being raised the same way. My 10 year old will do so much off his own back to help me. Pass me my walking stick, help me into bed, make a cup of tea etc. My 12 year old will sit and watch. He only helps others when it will make him look good or he benefits. I spoke to him last night about this. I told him that to help someone for his own benefit is not helping at all, to care is to help when there is no gain other than knowing you have cared for someone who needed it.
    I can only pray that God helps him realise that we all need to be there for one another, family, neighbours and world friends.
    Thank you for this post xxx

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Emma. I think some children are born with a compassion heart and just care for others naturally, others need more gentle prodding!!

      Prayers that your 12 year old learns to lend a helping hand for no reason but because its the right thing to do.

      xx

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  3. How very beautiful :-) Nice reminder for us all that it doesn't even have to be any thing particularly BIG that can encourage others - all the little bits help too!

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    1. Its often the little things that really make the differences. One of my colleagues had a really bad day today - I gave her a bag of lollies (which I knew she loved) and it did cheer her up, it was an easy thing for me to do and it made all the differences. It wasn't hard for me and I got her smiling :)) I think we think we need to change the world, we don't.

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  4. Dear Jo, We need stories like these to inspire us to good works as the Lord leads us to bless others. And it can be in very simple and small acts of kindness! I do want to love and help others! Good words here as always! Yours,Roxy

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