Read Micah 6:1-8
What Is Good?
Kindness is one of the hallmarks of the Christian faith. Kindness is the result of love for one’s fellow man. “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law….Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:8, 10).
There is no debate on the responsibility of the child of God to be kind and to do good to those around him. While our primary responsibility in this regard is to those with whom we share spiritual fellowship within God’s family, it extends beyond that. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).
Consider Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. The victim, a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, was attacked, robbed, and left for dead. A priest and a Levite, both among the supposed religious elite at the time, saw the victim and chose to do nothing. They both “passed by on the other side.” It was a Samaritan, a man who likely would have been ignored by the victim himself, who took care of the victim’s needs with no thought of repayment. He “showed mercy on him.” The Lord’s message was simple: “Go and do likewise.”
Mercy is so very important, yet we must never assume that showing kindness and compassion to another individual fulfills our obligation to God. We must “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). We must “walk in the light as He is in the light” in order to enjoy the cleansing effects of His blood (1 John 1:7). A part of seeking God’s righteousness and walking in His light is showing mercy on those who are around us, but it is only a part.
Read Micah 6:8 again and note the three things the prophet calls good: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Treat others with fairness. Extend mercy to them when they fall short. But don’t forget that third part: “walk humbly with your God.”