And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful. – Titus 3.14
When I tend to think of maintaining good works my thoughts tend to go to doing the 'spiritual works.' You know what I mean - pray and go to church and share my faith and read my Bible and all that kind of thing. There is no doubt that all those things are important and surely are doing good works. Don't get me wrong, we need to all those things and not let up and stay at.
But there is more to doing good works and it is just as spiritual.
Here Paul writes to Titus to remind him to encourage the people to 'meet urgent needs' so that their lives and ministires would be fruitful. There is more to a godly life than just being 'spiritual.' In fact, I don't think we can truly be spiritual unless we are doing other needed things.
Barnes puts it this way - 'Margin, profess honest trades. The Greek will admit of the interpretation in the margin, or will include that, but there is no reason why the direction should be supposed to have any special reference to an honest mode of livelihood, or why it should be confined to that. It rather means, that they should be distinguished for good works, including benevolent deeds, acts of charity, honest toil, and whatever would enter into the conception of an upright life.'
I like that. Our lives should be seen to be 'do gooders' though that phrase may not be too popular. Christians should be the best do gooders there are because that is they way to really bear fruit. We can preach and share and teach all we want, but if our words of love and charity are not backed up with good works then we are really spinning our wheels. Our meeting the urgent needs of others means that we strive to meet all the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs that we encounter. These are all urgent - not just the spiritual need for salavation.
So let's be careful that our good works are practical and not just spiritual.
And let's keep it up and maintain those works through our lives.