Learn to Do Well

Learning to do well does not come naturally to any of us, and we find that it is possible to resist instruction that goads us in that direction.  Some of us have had good teachers of truth and proper behavior, but really learning it involves measures of  God-dependent self-denial and application of the principles in our daily lives. Without personal application, we may have been taught to do well, but in effect, we haven’t really learned.

Isaiah 1:16-19“Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:”

The corrections environment presents a need and a hindrance for us to learn to do well.  Ideally, officers should project distinctly different behavior, which supports the fulfilment of God’s design for us in Romans 13 as a minister of God for good. Various pressures and stark realities of our negative environment can serve as an impetus for sometimes faulty personal foundational philosophies that must be overcome in learning to do well.

Learning to do well is not going to make us a soft pushover.  In fact, a literal look at this admonition identifies the outcome of  being sound.  If something is sound it is founded in truth and cannot be overthrown or refuted.  Firmness and strength are embodied in soundness, which can help an officer recognize inmate manipulation more readily, and stimulate the courage to stand strong against it. 

Soundness of a squad comes from individually stable, tethered members, all learning and striving to do well. This promotes regard for fellow officers, unity, and promptness in execution of duties, minimizing self-serving actions.  It’s easier to be quick to run to a call for help that produces an exhilarating increase in our pulse, prompting us to action than it is to immediately rise in response to the mundane demands of our duty without waiting for an order. However, both extremes require that we learn to do well.

If ye be willing” is a qualification all of us can meet.  Hence, it is possible that any of us can escape the crowded category of the complacent and learn to do well as we seek the truth in God’s Word on a daily basis, while submitting to counsel from those who consistently openly demonstrate well-doing in their daily lives.  Such a pursuit involving communication and collaboration with God and others will reveal His constant willingness to work with us, guiding us into all truth and His perfect will.  On this path of doing and being right, we will find less internal turmoil and strife, leading to peace, allowing us to enter into the “good of the land” to feast on routine soundness in judgement, duty, and daily life.  2 Thessalonians 3:13 “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”

This post was written by
Founder of Heirs of Restraint Ministries & Missouri Correctional Officer

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