When the apostle Peter summarized the earthly life of Christ, he used these words: “He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” Jesus went about doing good (Acts 10:38). I wonder if it could it be said of each of us, that we go about doing good? The only way this possibly could be so is we are self-starters. A self-starter is one who does what he knows to be right even if he hasn’t been instructed by someone else to do it. We want our children to learn to be self-starters. If I restrict my Christian service to those occasions when I have been told personally what to do, I will miss out on a life filled with meaningful service to God. Furthermore, other folks need to be looking after their own opportunities primarily, and not mine. Consider the following two points:
My parents should not have to force me to do a good thing before I do it. During our growing-up years, our parents have authority over us, but if we obey and honor them we gradually will ensure that they seldom have to use their parental authority (Ephesians 6:1-2). As we mature, our Christian parents shouldn’t have to tell us to keep our room clean, to be respectful, to study the Bible, to get our school work done, etc.
Church leaders should not have to tell me to do a good thing before I do it. My elders, deacons, or visitation team leaders may assign me to do various things, but the Bible does not teach that I must wait for their word before I do good. (We are not discussing areas where there is a possibility that the elders would disapprove. In such cases I should ask for their approval [Hebrews 13:17].) I should do good to all people at all times (Ephesians 6:10). When I see a need, I should fill it (Matthew 25:41-46). I should visit the sick without being prodded. I should take the gospel to whomever will listen, regardless of whether I have been told to talk to this or that person (Matthew 28:18-20). I should attend all of the services of the church without being asked personally to do so (Hebrews 10:24-25). I should be kind to others without being instructed to do it (Ephesians 4:32).
The folks around us do encourage us to do the right thing, but let us honor their efforts and honor the Lord by doing our best to find the good and take care of it ourselves (James 4:17). Jesus surely did not wait for others to give him the “go-ahead” to render faithful obedience to His Father. Like Jesus, may each of us be a self-starter.