Collateral goodness

Collateral damage is damage that is considered to be secondary or incidental. For example, if civilians are killed by a bomb that was meant to hit a military target that is sometimes called “collateral damage.”

A less severe example might be getting hit with a foul ball at a baseball game. Someone might also call that “collateral damage.”

Today I want to introduce the idea of “collateral goodness.” It’s goodness that maybe isn’t intended or envisioned, but which happens anyway.

Let’s say, for example, that you help someone and then go off in another direction to finish your day. The person you helped goes about their own day as well. But because they feel so good, they make an effort to help someone else. That’s collateral goodness.

Or what if you tell somebody about one of Jesus’ teachings. And then months or even years later, they help someone experience forgiveness because of what you had said. That’s collateral goodness.

Just because you can’t always see immediate results from the good you do, that doesn’t mean there aren’t long-term results that you simply can’t see.

Today, strive to bless in simple, faithful and practical ways. There’s no telling the collateral goodness you could cause.

As Paul writes in Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

By Matthew Ruttan

–This Sunday, September 20th I’m starting a new teaching series called “Down-To-Earth,” an in-depth look at the wisdom in the book of James. It starts at 10:01am on Sunday morning.

–“Up!” is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on September 21.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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