Christians Should do Good Deeds
What man sees
What God sees
I was looking around on Bible Gateway and I found some passages relating to those topics.
... 7You are looking only on the surface of things.
… 10For some say, "His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing."
… 12We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. (2 Corinthians 10)
These people were going by what they could see; he was exhorting the folks in Corinth not to "judge a book by its cover." Apparently, he was not that impressive to look upon. However, the work that God has done in and through this man, Paul, is quite glorious for us to behold on the pages of Scripture. (He also mentions the folly of the self-congratulatory types. I think it is good to keep company with those who challenge you and not just with those who commend you.)
The Lord laid this principle out long before, through Samuel. He told Samuel: "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king." (1 Samuel 16:1) When Samuel saw one of those of Jesse’s sons, He thought this of him: "Surely the LORD's [chosen] ..."
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)
God has chosen David to be King, even though by the looks of things, that wouldn't be David's aptitude. Back to the New Testament ... Jesus had some harsh things to say about some people that looked pretty good:
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean." (Matthew 23:27)
As I thought of what God sees and what man sees, I couldn’t help but think of this verse:
15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (Matthew 7:15-17)
I see this verse as saying that we should be very concerned with the evidence of one who would venture to speak for the Lord (prophet). This verse is a little controversial to my mind. If Jesus is talking about “deeds” when he speaks of “fruit” then maybe I should listen to the very kind priest who has seemingly dedicated his life to serving God ... or get insight from Mother Teresa as to what God wants for my life – perhaps they have a word from the Lord for me? They are showing good deeds, are they not? Then again, perhaps Jesus is talking about “words” or “ideas” or (dare I say?) “doctrine” when he speaks of "fruit." Deeds, words, ideas and doctrine are all things that we can evaluate through our senses. We cannot see into the heart of others, but we should be able to recognize false “prophets” if we use the Word of God to test the species (wolf or sheep? wolf or sheep?) before we think them to give us truth from God.
Actually, (I'm thinking "out loud" here...) does this verse even speak to us? Does the church today have prophets? The Word of God is complete. I am just now thinking that maybe this is for the early church before the canon of Scripture was established. It certainly has a principle for us, either way.
Finally, I found this verse below, (and there are many others) which reminded me that even though we shouldn’t be so concerned with looking at fellow Christians to judge, (only God judges the heart) we, as individuals, should be letting people see God’s light in each one of us … Christ in us! People in Christ should do good deeds!
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
I submit these thoughts for your analysis.