Learning to do good and share sounds like a kid thing. I remember, when teaching a children’s class, the struggle they often had when there was only a limited number of items of a kind and they had no choice but to share. What about times they had choices?
We adults have learned some social graces we might not have had as children but if we are honest, we still struggle to do good and share, particularly in situations where it isn’t required.
Do not forget to do good and share with others.
The command in Hebrews 13:16 to not forget to do good and share is applicable to all of us. Such an exhortation suggests we might be prone to neglecting to do good and share with others. Think about how easy it can be to get caught up in the busyness of our own lives that we become oblivious to the needs of others. We might not intend to be so self-absorbed but it happens.
If you are someone heavily involved in ministry, perhaps you are tired of all the neediness out there or maybe you don’t want to extend yourself beyond what you are already doing. The reminder still applies and is further substantiated in verses like Galatians 6:9-10 — “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
What It Means to Do Good and Share with Others:
Since this is a two-fold command, we would do well to consider the meaning of each command.
To do good literally means to do well, to be beneficent. This could take on many forms of kindness toward others. Our goodness emulates the character of a good God (Matt. 5:45-46; 3 Jn. 1:11). And so, in being good to others, we are being His hands and feet in extending His love and compassion toward others. Further, Jesus said “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” and “whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me” (Matt. 25:34-46). Jesus takes the way we treat others personally. Being good toward others is a means of serving Him, not just the person in front of us.
To share comes from the Greek word koinonia which we usually translate as fellowship, pertaining to what we share in common. We often think of fellowship as verbal sharing but it is so much more as confirmed in Romans 12:13 — “Share (koinoneo) with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” When we truly understand our spiritual bonds in Jesus, that which we share in common, making us members of one another (Rom. 12:5), we should be more open to sharing on the physical level as well. The early church obviously got this connection as we read in Acts 4:32 that “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.”
Why Doing Good and Sharing is Important:
When we give of our time and resources and are willing get out of our comfort zones or be inconvenienced to help others, we bless God — “for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Heb. 13:16). Why? His Son sacrificed His life for us. When we turn around and share with others sacrificially, we honor Him.
Hebrews 13:16 begins “AND do not forget to do good and share with others” which would connect it to verse 15 — “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” Doing good and sharing with others is a form of worshiping God. We worship not just with our lips but also by actions that please Him. Further, when others see our good deeds, we are letting our light shine, causing them to also “glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).