Learn To Do Good: Hard/But Possible

By: Carol McClain @carol_mcclain


We’re looking at Isaiah 1:16-17. And if you are with me, you know because we’re saved by grace and not works, people see our human nature and think we’re a bunch of hypocrites.

News flash: Nope. We’re not.

Oh? You already knew that.

As a review, Isaiah 1:16b-17 reads:

  1. Cease to do evil.
  2. Learn to do good.
  3. Seek justice.
  4. Rebuke the oppressor
  5. Defend the fatherless
  6. Plead for the widow.

Today I want to look at number 2. This is actually the item that got me studying these verses.

None of us have perfected life.

We can learn to do good. (Take me, for example).

Right now, I’m in the midst of grousing about some very IMPORTANT issues:
  1. People not wearing masks and saying it’s their constitutional right (to spread corona?)
  2. Not being able to buy beef without taking out a second mortgage. (I’m not a good housekeeper. No Clorox wipes around doesn’t bother me.)
  3. The humidity.
  4. Trump/Biden/William Henry Harrison (who should’ve shut up during his inauguration and avoided the pneumonia that killed him within 30 days.)

My heart has gripes, bitterness, pessimism. But God reminded me: “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” Luke 6:45.

I can learn to fill my heart with good and bridle my tongue so my attitude is not toxic. Hard, but not as hard as the path others learned to walk.

My friend “Harry” was raised by an addict, taught to make meth, taught to sell it, and taught to use it–by his father! What chance did he have in life?

You got it. Addiction. Accidents. Arrests.

But Harry accepted Christ’s grace. He did not point his finger at his family, but he accepted his responsibility for the choices he made. He studied the Bible and learned how a Christian ought to live. He met with other men and learned from them. He refused to stay where he was in life. Instead, he learned to do good.

Today, he’s a devoted husband, father, and foster dad to young relatives. (I hazard, though, that he doesn’t like William Henry Harrison any more than I do.)

Learn to do good:

  1. Read your Bible.
  2. Act on what the Bible tells you to do.
  3. Be humble.
  4. Learn from others.
  5. Be honest about yourself. You may be a preacher with sterling credentials who feeds the hungry and takes in a bazillion foster kids. You still need to improve.

Learn to do good and the world will have no cause to hate Christians.

How is Jesus growing you these days? (We know hard times yield great fruit, if we let it).




  1. Donald Wright says:

    Great article but one comment: I could be wrong but it seems to me that even if we only do good, which is pretty hard 24/7, the world will still hate us. I get your point though. You might remember me. My wife and I met you and your husband through Cindy McCracken a few years back. I bought one of your husbands cigar box guitars. Cindy is my wife Donna’s cousin. Take care.

    • Carol McClain says:

      You’re 100% right that the world would still hate us. Jesus tells us that, quite distinctly. We don’t have to add fuel to the fire (to be cliche). And we don’t have to give them a reason to hate us.
      Are you in the Knoxville area?

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