It’s natural to want a return on our investment. And we’re likely not to invest in something without a strong potential of return. But while there’s much wisdom here, it also becomes an act of faith to simply scatter goodness – leaving the results to God.
In the parable of the sower, the farmer is said to have gone out simply scattering his seeds. There’s no indication that he was being selective of where his seeds went, as some fell among all types of soil – some good and others not.
And perhaps this should also be our approach to spreading goodness – simply scattering our seeds as we go throughout our life and relationships. The birds no doubt will eat some, while others will fall in rocky or thorny soils. But some will also have the potential of falling onto good soil. And this is a potential we can miss when we become overly concerned about how each act of goodness is received.
To be sure, this doesn’t mean we have to say yes to every good opportunity that comes our way. We still need wisdom and discernment to say no to many good things so that we can reserve our best yes for the work God has called us to do.
At the same time, there’s a place to do good simply because we have the opportunity to do so. For instance, this might be as simple as smiling more throughout our day, extending grace to our fellow drivers on the road, being generous with our time and resources, or anonymously helping someone in need.
Whatever it looks like, we’re offering goodness without immediately considering the return on our investment. We’re living by faith and trusting the outcome to God.
In the end, whether it makes someone’s day or goes unnoticed, remain committed to scattering the goodness God has blessed you to give. Your generosity is a reflection of him and is not dependent on how others respond.