Monday, August 1, 2022

Try to Do Good

 By: Joanne Viola

One thought went through my head, “I am going to try better tomorrow.”

Even as I was drifting off to sleep, I was aware of the word, “try”, weaving its way into my thoughts. I tried hard to stop my thoughts but I knew, “try” was going to still be present in the morning.

The early morning hours found me in the usual routine of reading and coffee. My mind was trying to move on in thought but the word kept on pulling me back. Try ….

“…but always try to do good to each other and to all people.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15, NLT)

The words splayed out before me right on the page – “try to do good”. The dictionary defines the word “try” as to attempt or endeavor to do something.

It has to mean even more than what meets the eye. I try to lose weight. I try to keep up with the ironing. Those are trivial things. This, “try to do good”, must mean more.

Pulling my commentary off the nearby shelf, I read:

“Try to be kind” fails to convey the urgency and effort implied in Paul’s exhortation … The Christian must actively “pursue” … Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to pursue the good “always”, for “each other” and for “everyone else” as well.”

(New American Commentary, Volume 33, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, page 180)

Paul knew this was necessary and must be continuous in our lives. We must seek that which is good for one another, those things which will benefit, and bless, and grow each other in the love of the Lord and for one another.

This is urgent. It’s imperative, which means it’s going to be a requirement if we all are going to make it through this life.

We must actively pursue goodness. It means we are going to need to be on our guard to stop any unkindness from rearing its ugly head. It also means we are going to need to live with an intentionality beyond our natural ability.

It will require us to be dependent on the Holy Spirit: Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25, NIV).

Why do you think we need to be reminded to do good? When do you find it most challenging?

Let’s keep in step with the Spirit,
and try to do good to each other and all people.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


  1. Thanks for this encouragement. It would make a difference if we had that intentionality about doing good.

  2. I appreciate hearing the thought behind the word "try"--the intentionality and urgency. My "trying" is more anemic than that, I'm afraid. But this prods me to turn to God's help.

  3. Thank you for encouraging us to keep growing in our walk wit the Lord. May our Lord be pleased with our trying and lead us to victory

  4. Love your analysis, Joanne. "Try to do good" leaves a lot of room for inaction, or excuses for a less than successful outcome. The word "pursue" involves intention and passion, which I think belong with seeking to stay in step with the Spirit!


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