Set a goal to do good in your new community as quickly as you can
Do good, O LORD, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts! (Psalm 125:4)
When you receive PCS orders, some decisions are best made after you arrive at your new location. You should wait until you can measure the windows before you order new curtains. Do not order checks with a new address until you have moved into your home. However, there is one thing you can certainly decide before your new military unit welcomes your family: you can determine to do good.
The travelers journeying to Jerusalem used this Psalm of Ascent (Psalm 125) to remind themselves that God blesses those who do good. Jesus taught on the virtues of doing good, even to those who do not deserve it (Luke 6:27–32). The apostle Paul emphasized that God created us in Christ to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). The Bible affirms that doing good brings glory to God (1 Peter 2:12). Doing good is so powerful it can even be the reason someone decides to become a Christian (1 Peter 3:1).
As a new person in town, you may be tempted to hide away and lay low until someone invites (or drags) you to a spouses’ meeting or chapel event. However, doing good normally cannot be done in a social vacuum; it requires someone on the receiving end. Set a goal to do good in your new community as quickly as you can. You can get ready to do good at your new location before you arrive by practicing the following phrases to be used when you arrive:
“How can I help?”
“Is there anything you need?”
“When can I start?”
Doing good begins with the right frame of mind—having an upright heart, as the psalmist notes. The status of the heart clarifies that God is looking for more than just good deeds.1 Our good deeds are to originate in a good heart. We do not earn our salvation by doing good, but we validate the good work the Lord has done in our hearts by the good work of our hands.
What does it mean for you to do good? What strategies have you used to help you get involved quickly at a new military assignment?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, remind me to do good today. Keep me focused on others and not on myself. Help me to meet people wherever they have a need, just as you have met me. Amen.
1 Craig C. Broyles, New International Biblical Commentary: Psalms (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1999), 456.