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Stars in your crown

Posted by ESC on April 04, 2001

In Reply to: Definition of a "Good Deed" posted by R. Berg on April 04, 2001

: : Hello all; I was hoping to find a good defintion or example of a doing a "Good Deed" I was thinking of it as a selfless act of doing something good for another with no recognition ..not calling attention to the doer and not done in return for a favor.Can any one help please with more widely recognized definition?
: : Thank you

: People could argue forever about whether an act is a good deed if the doer's motives are mixed. By my understanding of the term, a gift to charity is a good deed even if it produces a tax deduction for the giver. A service performed by a child is a good deed even if done on assignment from the Scoutmaster. Someone who rescues a neighbor from a burning house has done a good deed even if the thought of getting a medal flitted across his or her mind during the rescue.

: If you define "good deed" so narrowly as to exclude all acts that earn recognition, you have a logical problem. Good deeds are likely to be recognized. The stranger to whom I give directions on the street may thank me, thus showing appreciation. Having pulled my neighbor out of the burning house, I may get a medal from the mayor a year later. Surely these acknowledgments don't knock my altruistic acts off the "good deeds" list.

: Giving in secret is nice, but giving in the open is nice too.

: Anybody want to argue the other side?

I have to give it some thought before registering my opinion on the definition of a "good deed." But I did want to relate a religious belief -- I was told in childhood that if a person does a good deed and it is known, the person does not get a star in his/her crown in heaven. In other words, if the "good deed doer" is rewarded on earth, he is not rewarded in heaven.