(Jesus said) "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16
From a Christian point of view there is some degree of truth in the rather dark expression "No good deed ever goes unpunished."
* For example, God creates a perfect Garden and gives it to His people, who promptly disobey His one commandment.
* He frees the children of Israel from slavery, and they spent their time in the wilderness grousing and complaining.
* He sends His Son into this world to seek and save the lost, and the lost reject, revile and rebuff His invitation and end up nailing Jesus to the cross.
The PEZ candy company can certainly understand good deeds don't always work out the way the imaginer planned. As evidence, we point to the PEZ "Annual Easter Egg Hunt." PEZ had planned that the children who came to the 10:30 a.m. event would be divided up into age groups. Those groups would be released chronologically to search for some of the 9,000 hidden eggs.
That was the plan.
What happened was this: people didn't wait for their designated time. Instead, the parents of the children rushed into the fields before the event was to begin. Those parents pushed four-year-old children out of the way, and some adults even stole eggs out of the youngsters' baskets.
Looking at the disaster, the PEZ company set up tables and gave away candy and certificates to any child who had been left empty-handed. One of the PEZ people said, "Due to the actions of a few, the good intent turned into a mess."
And so it goes. No good deed goes unpunished, which takes us to the question, "What can we learn from all of this?"
I think the answer is a simple one: even if our good deeds do not always have the result we want, we do them anyway. After all, isn't that what our Lord has done?
* Even though Adam and Eve were going to sin, God wasn't dissuaded from setting up the Garden of Eden.
* Even though the children of Israel were going to grumble, God wasn't deterred from rescuing them.
* Even though Jesus was going to be condemned, that didn't cause the Lord to rethink His plan and promise of salvation.
Similarly, we who have been washed of our sins by Jesus' innocent blood -- who have been freed from hell and are destined for heaven -- need to keep on doing good. Even when we are misunderstood, misinterpreted and misread, we need to keep on doing what is right because it is right and because right actions will glorify our Redeemer.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may my daily actions bring honor to the Savior who did what was right so we might be forgiven and made right. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries