Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good … Titus 3:14

Seven times in the book of Titus Paul says: “do what is good” (1:8, 2:3, 2:7, 2:14, 3:1, 3:8, 3:14). How do we define what is good?

When the first apostles had to make a monumental decision about how to include Gentiles in their worship services, all they came up with, after much discussion was, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us …” (Acts 15:28). Surely that would be the time you would want something concrete from God. The church was going through massive changes and all they received was a sense that their definition of appropriate behaviour for Gentiles, “seemed good.”

The apostles were defining “doing good” for the Gentiles by telling them “to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality” (Acts 15:29). They made this decision based on the judgment, “that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God” (verse 19).

Apart from sexual immorality, these requirements were actually cultural, which makes me wonder how do I define what is good in my culture? God didn’t give concrete rules and regulations to the first churches and he won’t give them to us. God has given us “the peace of Christ” to rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15), he has given us his Spirit to lead and guide us and that is enough. If our hearts have been cleansed and renewed than God is able to guide and direct us. So we too will be able to say about the decisions we make, it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to me.