Here is the Wisdom

Learn to do good works. See Titus 3:14

When Paul talks about good works, he doesn’t assume that is our natural tendency. If left to our own whims and emotions, we will tend to be selfish, self-serving, lazy, and desirous of more leisure. It isn’t as if we never want to do good works, but we would like to take a casual approach to the effort. Paul says church members and followers of Jesus will be good works focused.

“Let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.” Titus 3:14

Devote yourself to good works. See Titus 3:14

The Master of Good Works

Jesus showed us by example the model for good works. He certainly wasn’t lazy. He was often exhausted (so he knows what it is like to be physically exhausted) and could even sleep when in a storm with the disciples due to fatigue. Of course, because he was good and full of grace and truth, good works flowed from his heart of compassion. Followers of Jesus will have the same desire, given what God has done for them.

In Ephesians, Paul reminds the church they were saved by grace and not the result of works. (Ephesians 2:8-9) But then it goes on to say something about the results of his work for and in us. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

How Bad is Laziness?

Solomon uses strong language about those who are lazy. “Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” Proverbs 18:9

Life’s Difficulties Don’t Remove the Requirement to Work

Paul tells Timothy how to care for the widows. However, he makes a distinction about the character of the widow who is truly alone, is at least sixty years old, and is without children or grandchildren. He says, “Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.” 1 Timothy 5:9-10

Alistair Begg said it well in his Truth for Life Daily Devotional on October 12, 2022. He said we are to be thinking we are doing kingdom work for the king. The King has prepared us to walk in good works.

Doing Good is a learned behavior. Alistair Begg

Our ability to do good is also, Paul says, a learned behavior. We are called to ‘learn to devote’ ourselves to goodness. Our actions shouldn’t just be the result of an emotional surge or come about only when we feel like it. Instead, we are to endeavor on a daily basis to do the kingdom work that God has planned for each one of us and do it intentionally and habitually. And we are to look at those further on in their faith who live this kind of life and seek to learn from them.” – Alistair Begg

The Bottom Line

The reality is that we were created in God’s image. An image replicates the reality. God works and his works are good. Therefore, God’s children should be known for good works, not for lazy apathy.

All scripture passages are from the English Standard Version except as otherwise noted.