How to Keep Doing Good

Young man thinking

James wrote, “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). It is obviously important that we know what God expects of us. But sometimes we know what is right yet, for whatever reason, we do not do it. James plainly said that this is sin. Whether it is due to weakness, forgetfulness, or willful rebellion, we are too often guilty of doing things we ought not to do.

What are we to do about this? Should we give up and surrender to the devil? No! We are to “resist the devil” (James 4:7). Should we be content in sin? Absolutely not! “How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:2). We are to work to “lay aside every…sin which so easily entangles us” (Hebrews 12:1), no matter how large or small, common or rare.

With the devil and his servants trying to discourage us and make us fall, how do we keep the faith and continue to do what is right?

  • We must keep our priorities in line – Paul said, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). One day “the earth and its works will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). But God offers us something lasting – “an inheritance which is imperishable…reserved in heaven” (1 Peter 1:4).
  • We must keep God’s word in the forefront of our minds – The psalmist wrote, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11). As human beings, we need consistent reminders about what God teaches us in His word (2 Peter 1:13). So we must study, meditate on, and practice God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15; Psalm 119:97; Hebrews 5:12-14).
  • We must surround ourselves with godly people – Just as “bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33), good company promotes good morals and behavior. We should take advantage of the assembly to encourage our brethren and receive encouragement from them (Hebrews 10:24-25). And as much as we can, we should try to associate with our brethren at other times as well for the additional encouragement we need to overcome sin (Hebrews 3:13).
  • We must focus on Christ – The Hebrew writer told us that we are to be “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Remember what Jesus endured for us. Note His example in all things. See how He willingly endured all things to please the Father and rejoin Him in heaven. “Consider Him…so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3).

There is no guaranteed way to eliminate sin in our lives. As long as we live here, we will have the choice to sin. But we should do all that we can to make the choice to do right an easier one. Remember what is truly important. Keep God’s word fresh in your mind. Associate with others who are striving to serve God as well. Focus on Christ. If we can do these things, we can have great success in our continued efforts to do good.

When you subscribe, you’ll also receive 3 free PDF’s: Plain Bible Teaching on Blessings, the latest issue of Plain Bible Teaching Quarterly Review, and Social Issues.