For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works… ~ Eph. 2:10
I am a huge Seinfeld fan. In the final two episodes ever created Jerry and the gang find themselves in pretty hot water. While taking a trip to Paris their private jet makes an emergency landing in Lathan, Massachusetts for some much needed repairs. As they are waiting for their jet to get repaired they decide to tour the little town.
Walking down the sidewalk they notice a gentleman getting robbed across the street. Being from New York they find this quite humorous and Kramer even starts video taping the whole event. They all get a pretty good laugh at this poor victim’s expense.
As the cop is interviewing the victim Jerry notices the victim is pointing at them and the cop does not look happy. Next thing you know the gang is being approached by the cop. He pulls out his handcuffs and starts arresting all four of them.
Elaine says, “No. No. No. We didn’t do anything.” To which the officer says, “That is exactly right!” Apparently they had broken the Good Samaritan Law; a law that requires helping or assisting a victim if it poses no threat to the bystander.
I have become real good at not doing anything wrong, and the trap that I have fallen into is the belief that not doing anything wrong is the same as doing good. Truthfully, there is a huge difference. Not doing anything wrong is just that – not doing anything wrong. It does not mean that I am, therefore, doing something good.
I have heard this described as the difference between the minimally decent Samaritan and the good Samaritan. The former sees a guy on the shoulder of the interstate working on a flat tire, so he swerves to the outside lane to avoid hitting the stranded traveler. The latter pulls over to lend a hand. Neither of them did anything wrong, but only one of them actually did something good.
Many of us have become good at not doing anything wrong. But God does not call us to be people who do nothing wrong. He calls us to be people who do good works.