Is doing good always ‘good’?

Paris doing good?

Doing good and making the right choice is commendable. I would suggest it is how I hope I am raising my children and what I hope and expect from my friends. Advocating for good for humankind. But sometimes we do good for the sake of it, we don’t ask the hard questions. Our ‘do good’ mentality has become a quick fix in our society. We give to charities when a representative knocks on our door or asks for a donation at a traffic light. We volunteer at the soup kitchen, give of our time, pass on our unwanted clothing and household items and we feel like we have made a contribution.
¬†Likewise, the church has been caught up in doing good. This is after all following Jesus’ example of helping the poor and needy, welcoming the unlovely into your home and to your table. But the church has become distracted by causes and doing and less astute at asking the hard questions. I heard Bob Lupton speak at the Verge 2012 conference. He suggested that charity has become toxic and that the church is on the verge of a major paradigm shift. Amongst many stories of charity and good, he revealed a common scenario of a local church sending people on ‘mission’ to paint an orphanage in the third world. The money spent ¬†coordinating and investing in taking a team of westerners to an overseas location to perform a task, they were not professionally trained to do so could have been used to give work to two local professional painters, employ a couple of full time teachers at the school and provide complete new uniforms for the entire student body. Have we not asked the hard questions? The mission trip was good for ‘me’ but really it didn’t offer long term change for my brothers and sisters in need.

Mission needs to be authentic. Our good needs to offer real outcomes. Lupton is advocating a paradigm shift. It is worth asking yourself is doing good always ‘good’?