Do the Right Thing

Pizza and jelly beans are my love language.

Well, actually my love language is “words of affirmation” (If you haven’t read about the five love languages, you need to Google it…it’s pretty accurate!), but Joe knew he could dig himself out of a pretty deep hole with a sweet little note, a trip to Pizza Village or a bag of Sweet Tart Jelly Beans! He was smart enough to speak my love language when it really mattered. 🙂

Joe’s love language was “acts of service”. He showed love by doing what needed to be done. One of my favorite ways he did this was through his talents as an auctioneer. In the fall of the year, Harvest Sale Season was a very busy time at our house. I remember one particular Saturday in which he called three different sales for area churches in the same day! If you have attended a benefit or fundraiser in our local area, there is a good chance Joe served as one of the auctioneers. Not only did he donate his time and talent, he also quietly purchased MANY items over the years to help a community, church or family in need.

Joe was a helper, plain and simple. If he saw something that needed to be done, he just did it…usually anonymously and without much fanfare. Doing good deeds came pretty naturally to him, so it is no great surprise that he chose to talk about such in this week’s lesson. However, his focus is not so much on the deed, but on the reason behind it.

He wrote:

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

How many of you have heard the proverb, “No good deed goes unpunished”? What does it mean? It could mean that a kind action might not be properly appreciated. Or it might mean that a kind action could lead to more expected actions or demands for help or benefits. The idea is that in the end many people might not appreciate the effort behind our kindness, or that it might end up causing us more grief than anything. I guess it is a twist on the original idea that good deeds (or at least being good) get rewarded…which is not always the case.

In 1 Peter 2:20 it states: “But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.”

John 10: 32 states “but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

We all know that Scripture gives us examples of good works, such as the story of the Good Samaritan, and how he helped a man that in those times others would have been unconcerned with. I think we can all agree that we should look for good deeds that should be done. Hebrews 13:16 instructs us to ” not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time being pleased at the thought of having to suffer for showing a kindness or as Jesus said being stoned for doing good works. However, those thoughts are centered around man, not around God. We are not really doing good deeds for people, are we? We are doing them for Christ himself.

Colossians 3: 23-24 states “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,  since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

So, this morning, I want to encourage you to do good deeds and to do the right thing, even when it feels unappreciated or like it might even backfire or cause you some hardship. Our Heavenly Father sees it all. He sees our efforts, as well as the efforts and actions of others. But it is not our job to worry about anything but doing good deeds in the name of Jesus. He is keeping tabs for us all.


If I am being honest, the last paragraph of Joe’s sermon ticks me off.

Not the part about good deeds. I love an act of kindness better than just about anyone. As a matter of fact, last week was “Random Act of Kindness” Week at school…one of my most favorite activities all year long! It warms my heart to see how our students and staff find ways to show love and kindness for others, not just during this week, but all the time. I celebrate good deeds in my classroom. One of my favorite shirts bears the phrase “BE KIND” in large letters across the front. It’s a big deal to me.

However, there’s this other part of me that seriously struggles with the other side of kindness…when people disappoint me or cause hurt to others by not doing the right thing. So, when Joe says that it is not my job to worry about anything but doing good deeds, I may or may not have rolled my eyes and let out a heavy sigh.

Joe often said two things about my emotional response to less than ideal situations.

  1. Ronda is a bulldozer
  2. Ronda tends to hit back harder than she was hit.

I am not particularly proud of those, but he was not entirely incorrect. I do tend to plow into an issue full force, full of passion [anger/frustration]…which is a sharp contrast to Joe’s “slow and steady” personality. And then there’s that mouth. Y’all, it has gotten me in trouble my whole life (my mama and daddy can verify as they have both popped my sassy mouth more than once!).

So, when the actions of other people are hurtful to me or to those around me, I am pretty much a curly headed piece of heavy machinery with enough brain power to think of a thousand vengeful actions or insults, but not always enough willpower to keep my mouth shut. I repeat…I am not proud of this. I have literal “come to Jesus” meetings with the Lord about it on the regular. Seriously.

This week, I stood at the crossroads of good deeds and not so good people. When I tell you that I have reached the point lately where I honestly don’t know if I can take one more thing, I mean it…and then one more thing showed up. I wanted to bulldoze. Honestly, I still do just a little.

But deep in my spirit, “WWJD” planted itself in my soul and stayed there. Most of you remember this acronym as “What Would Jesus Do?”. We’ve seen it on shirts, bracelets, mugs and bumper stickers for years. However, since his death, I have mashed it together with Joe’s name several times. What would Joe do? What would Jesus do? The answer is in the last paragraph of Joe’s lesson.

So, this morning, I want to encourage you to do good deeds and to do the right thing, even when it feels unappreciated or like it might even backfire or cause you some hardship. Our Heavenly Father sees it all. He sees our efforts, as well as the efforts and actions of others. But it is not our job to worry about anything but doing good deeds in the name of Jesus. He is keeping tabs for us all.

Joe and Jesus would do the right thing. Joe and Jesus would show kindness, even in the face of suffering and strife. Joe and Jesus would not keep a record of wrongs, but would show grace and mercy. Joe and Jesus would love.

Just do the right thing, sweet friend. Jesus will do the rest.

-Words of Wisdom from The Book of Joe


4 thoughts on “Do the Right Thing

  1. Girl! I think we all need that reminder! It is so hard sometimes to “let it go, do the right thing and be the bigger person.” I was always the “I will show you person” thinking up ways to/ words to sass back at someone, but losing my sister a few years back changed the way I view life. I look at each day as a gift and each person who doesn’t think the way I do as a way to positively change the way they think (if possible.) If not, I love them anyway and let it go! I learned life is too short to hold on to the negative, BUT lately I haven’t been doing such a stellar job so this reminder “do the right thing,” well just thank you God for this timing. As always you know what I need to hear, when I need to hear it! Love and prayers to you Ronda!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great lesson for all. Thank you for sharing these wonderful Joe/Jesus words and your struggles to obey. I struggle like you. ❤️❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: