The local villagers were very surprised when some Adventists from a neighbouring village came and gave everyone a bucket. Buckets carry water, utensils and washed clothes in Pacific villages every day—so are a valuable item.
The people were pleased to receive the bucket, but their suspicion of the motivation was evident in their response: “Are you giving this bucket so you can evangelise us?”
As a pastor I have listened to people from many different walks of life and helped them through issues. When you don’t have to do it, people do wonder why they are being helped. [pullquote]
Why do Seventh-day Adventist Christians do good? Do we mow our neighbours’ lawns or weed their gardens so we can convert them? Do we treat disease and operate clinics and hospitals to get more baptisms? Do we relieve the suffering from a disaster of flood, drought or cyclone so we can evangelise? Do we run a soup kitchen to build the profile of a church?
The Bible says that disciples of Jesus are created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). Jesus was very clear about doing good. The goodness of the sun and rain are given to everyone (Matthew 5:45). We should do good secretly—not expecting any recognition (Matthew 6:2,3). The sheep in the parable of the judgement did not realise that their good deeds to others were considered by God as good deeds to God (Matthew 25:38,39). So, we do good simply because it is the good and right thing to do.
However, it is true that doing good often opens people’s hearts to a spiritual journey. If our good deeds initiate a yearning for more, we should respond and share our motivation—Jesus. Jesus is good. He did much good—whether people accepted His message and life or not. So, as Jesus’ disciples we should keep doing good to everyone and share more with those who request it.