Do the next good thing.

Big changes can start with one small thing…and then another…and another.

This video was recorded for the June 21, 2020 online worship service at my church. To view this message in context, visit

I have a patio with a deck behind my house, but it hasn’t always looked very nice. Over time little spiders built cobwebs in the corners. Leaves blew in and were scattered on the floor. An unused birdcage and pet supplies were sitting off to one side. I usually just kept my window blinds closed because the patio wasn’t something I enjoyed looking at. I wasn’t very proud of it.

Then one day, one of my daughters swept the patio floor, and it started to look a lot better! After the floor was clean, I decided to put away all the pet stuff and sweep away the cobwebs. I noticed that the ceiling fan was dirty, and so I cleaned it, too. Then I washed the windows. And after that I started opening the window blinds every day to let in the sunlight and to look out!

Since then, I have done a lot more to make the patio and the whole backyard look better! And it all started with doing one small thing.

Doing one good thing led to doing another good thing and then another. What was once a mess has slowly been changing into something beautiful, one step at a time. There’s a lot more to do, but seeing change gives me hope and encourages me to keep going.

Sometimes we might feel like our world is a mess—and it’s just too much for us to fix. It might even be so messed up that we just want to ignore the problems. What can one person do about a pandemic or injustice?

What if we each just do one good thing—and then the next—and the next—one step at a time? Transformation can happen! Positive change might come from doing the next good thing.

This summer we’re thinking about being compelled by God’s spirit. We might have a feeling that urges us to do something because it’s the right thing to do. But how do we know if a feeling comes from God? Here’s one way: Ask yourself, “Is it loving?” Because if it’s not loving, then it’s not from God. If it is loving, then do it.

Maybe that one good thing is to say a kind word to someone who is hurting. Maybe the next good thing is to get to know someone who doesn’t look like you.

What is the next good and loving thing that God is compelling you to do? Do it. And remember that God’s spirit is always with you, giving hope and encouragement to do the next good thing.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put all together that overwhelm the world.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu


What used to be on Ms. Marcia’s patio?

  1. leaves
  2. barbecue grill
  3. birdcage
  4. 1 and 3

What was the first change in making the patio look better?

  1. pulling weeds
  2. sweeping the floor
  3. painting the ceiling

After you do one good thing, what can you do?

  1. Do the next good thing.
  2. Complain about how hard you worked.
  3. Brag about how good you are.

What is one way to tell if an idea comes from God?

  1. Listen for a voice that says, “This is God.”
  2. Look for a flash of lightning.
  3. Ask yourself “Is it loving?”

(Answers: 4, 2, 1, 3)

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