Do Good


Doing Good Reshapes The World You Live In

by Eric Elkin

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
— Psalm 37: 3-4

In 2017, my wife decided to walk the Women’s March in St. Paul, MN. This was not her kind of activity and spoke to the situation. She was so angry with the political climate she felt compelled to do something. We found a perfect poster for her. “It’s so bad even the introverts are marching!”

I was thinking about that this past week after President Trump declared a national emergency. Critics from the left were expected, but it was the words of Ann Coulter which caught my attention. She went on a Los Angeles radio station and declared, “The only national emergency is the president is an idiot!” 

Ann Coulter’s words were the eye-catching headline of a news story on the internet. Not trusting the headline was an accurate reflection of her thoughts, I listened to the entire interview. Let’s just say, that was the nicest thing she said about the president. When I was done listening, I said, “It’s so bad even right-wing commentators are mad at him.”

I’m not sharing this as another attempt to criticize the president. Truth is Donald Trump is not as evil as his critics suggest. Nor is he as brilliant and capable as his supporters think. President Trump has always been a person who knows how to grab headlines. As his life bears witness, he rarely knows how to deliver on the hype he creates. 

Every time you do a good deed you shine the light a little farther into the dark. And the thing is, when you’re gone that light is going to keep shining on, pushing the shadows back.
— Charles de Lint

Our country is more than divided, it is fighting a sense of hopelessness. It is a battle people have been engaged in fighting long before Donald Trump was elected president. We keep putting our hopes in one person thinking this individual can correct the situation. And all it does is create a greater divide between opposing views.  At some point, we collectively need to change this trajectory.

Psalm 37 offers great advice if we choose to take it or are strong enough to listen. Trust in the Lord and do good. Trusting in God, a little phrase we put on currency is not about waiting for divine intervention. God pulls the individual out of isolation and into a community of people. Faith is about seeing the world as being bigger than one’s own self-interests. It asks you to work with your neighbor, not bash them. 

If you really want to effect change in the world, do good. It truly is that simple. Doing good is not the sole propriety of any political party. It is not even the domain of the religious. Searching for ways to do good does not require us to embrace a specific religion, adopt a similar ideology, or share a political view. Doing good can be an act as small as a greeting, or as large volunteering to serve a non-profit. When we do acts of kindness, it reshapes not only our hearts but the world we live in.


Click to read Psalm 37: 1-11

Reflection Questions:

  • What, in our current cultural climate, causes you to become distressed?

  • How do you cope with this distress?

  • Where or in whom do you place your trust

  • What does “doing good” look like for you today?

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