When I look at my social media feeds, I’m always intrigued by what goes viral. I think it gives a glimpse into who people are and what’s important to them. My favorite viral posts are those of someone doing good for someone else. Inevitably in the comment section (yes I read those too), someone will write something to the effect, “Why are we so intrigued by this? They did what we are supposed to do. This shouldn’t be viral. This should be common.” They have a point. Doing good for someone else without knowing you’re being seen or hoping to go viral is what we should be doing.
As Christians, we have a particular responsibility to help others in need. Throughout the Bible, God tells us to care for the poor, the weak and the defenseless. He asks us to show His love to those whom society deems the least worth it. Yet, in our day and age, someone who does something God commanded, goes viral because it isn’t commonplace in our society. We have stopped looking around because we are looking down at our phones. We have abandoned reality for a virtual world of fantasy. The by product of those exchanges is that we fail to fulfill our purpose in serving others.
Hebrews 13:16 says, “Do not forget to do good and to help one another, because these are the sacrifices that please God. (GNB)” When we are so busy with work or so enthralled in our mobile devices that we forget to do good, we are too distracted to see those whom God places in our path. We have to find a way to lose the distractions that prevent us from seeing those to whom we could be doing good for. The Message Bible writes the end of this verse in very specific terms for us. It says, “God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship – a different kind of “sacrifice”- that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.”
The opportunities to do good are all around us. If you’re not seeing them, you’re too distracted. If you’re seeing them and not doing anything about it, you’re neglecting to do the sacrifices that please God. There are people who come to your house who need a kind word, a smile or help. There are people beside you at work who are hurting and feel like no one cares. They desperately need a child of God to bring light into their darkness. There are people walking past you on the street, in the parking lot or in the store who could use a smile, a kind gesture or someone to lay it forward. That’s not someone else’s job. It yours if you call yourself a Christian.
We shouldn’t do things in order to be seen or to go viral. We should do it out of the love God has placed in our hearts for others. Jesus said in John 13:35, “If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples. (GNB)” That love is expressed in outward acts of kindness that others can see. It’s not done in order to be seen, but as an expression of love from the Father. So today, put away the things that are distracting you from seeing those who need help. Look to do good for someone. Smile and tell them, “God said He loves you.” God takes a particular pleasure in those acts of worship.