First, we are to do all the good we can. We aren’t called to do all he conceivable good, which would be impossible for us, but rather to maximize opportunities that we have.What’s Best Next p. 75
And so the rub is to know our own hearts and evaluate our motives and what motivates us. He’ll go on to say that the good we do is for the benefit of others and the glory of God. We aren’t called to do good works for the glory of self. He also says that good works are ultimately those things done in faith. Therefore, working oneself to death in one’s own strength—however good that might appear—if not done by faith is not good works.
If we aren’t abounding in good works, the problem is likely not a lack of opportunity but a lack of desire. I love what the great evangelical social reformer William Wilberforce said: “No man has a right to be idle … [W]here is it in such a world as this that health, and leisure, and affluence may not find some ignorance to instruct, some wrong to redress, some want to supply, some misery to alleviate?”p. 75
Now, one must keep in mind what good works are. He will go on to say that good works are not just taking trips to Africa or going into full-time ministry. Good works are caring for one’s children, honoring one’s boss, and loving one’s neighbor. The point of it all is that we were created for good works (Ephesians 2:10). Our purpose is not to live for self but for others and the glory of God. And so this chapter on what we’re seeking to accomplish before he talks about how one might find the best way in which to do that. If there is no target, we can’t hit it.