Many consider Lake Louise as the jewel of the Banff region in Canada, but Bow Lake, just a bit north, entranced our Gray Hog group even more. Perhaps the less than crowded conditions contributed to that. We took pics of the lake and Crowfoot Mtn from the central area, then strolled south for another angle of the glacier. Out of the many impressive qualities of Canada, we noticed the almost total lack of litter.
Until, walking back to our bikes, we stopped to see these wildflowers up close, and noticed several dozen pieces of trash. With a can 20 meters away (meters up north!), we began picking up the debris, then Brad pointed out one close to me. Litter, he thought, but my closer inspection revealed it as a $20 bill Canadian. About $15 US.
I grinned at Brad and thanked him for the lead, which paid for my next meal. Finding it made me happy, but I’d been almost as glad if Brad had grabbed it first. A good deed rewarded!
But I thought of the popular line, “No good deed goes unpunished,” a reflection of our skeptical culture--one often with truth behind it. Some of our good deeds do get rewarded A lot go unnoticed. Others get punished. So why do good if 2 of the 3 options don’t pay us back?
Let me weave together 2 verses. Jesus tells that the essence of good comes from God and his nature, “No-one is good— except God alone” (Mark 10:18). So when we do good, we express God. We grow in godliness, which is good, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).
But, does acting godly content us? Or do we need human acknowledgment or a personal benefit? If the latter, what do we focus on? Ourselves. If the former, the focus goes to God.
As followers of Jesus, let’s do the right thing. The good thing. Let’s be content expressing God’s character, with little thought of short term--consequences good or bad. Shouldn’t godliness be our greatest goal?
Kick Starting the Application
Think back on how you choose to respond to a situation. If you’re at all like me, you might evaluate it first on the impact on you. When we do this, what does it reveal about our hearts? Are we content with that? What practical step can you take to choose godliness first?