Friday, October 07, 2022

“NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED” (published 10-7-2022; article #362)

Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash.


No good deed goes unpunished.” You've probably heard or spoken the phrase many times – usually in sarcastic humor. (If you have a “no good deed goes unpunished” story, you are welcome to enter a comment!)

Decades ago, I learned the phrase from a good friend, whom I've known all my life. He likes to use the phrase, at a sarcastic moment, when someone else or he had suffered by doing a good deed.

Well, on 10/5/2022 (Wednesday), I did a good deed. I awakened the next morning, suffering from that good deed. I'll tell you about it. This article starts off funny but ends on a spiritual theme.

The Good Deed

On Wednesday, my wife's good first cousin had his van in the shop. His van was ready. My ol' truck and I took 'cuz Mike to get his van. Afterward, I followed him, as he drove to a nearby Food City, to gas up his van.

By the way, before we left his home for the shop, 'cuz Mike and I had talked briefly about the price of gas going up again. The cost of gas had been going up, but USSA President Biden released the nation's strategic oil reserves – to decrease the “pain at the pump.” Gas prices went down a little – still too high. Recently, however, the cost of gas started rising again – since the strategic oil reserve is half empty.

I will go into a little more detail on that point. My 11/28/2021 article includes the section “USSA First President: Oil Dependence,” in which I had stated some facts. If you're interested, the USSA Energy Department's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) website has facts and figures. See also, among many articles on the topic, Marketplace, a division of Minnesota Public Radio, “U.S. oil reserve tumbles to lowest level in 4 decades,” by Samantha Fields, 9/22/2022. The article concludes by assuring the reader that, although the SPR is depleted, the “salt caverns are still more than half full.” Well, the SPR gas tank is half full or half empty – depending on how you want to spin the news. The USSA is running half empty, as I see it.

Well, let's get back to the good deed! The day was sunny and pleasant. (We need rain.) I enjoyed helping 'cuz Mike. It was my good deed for the day. I took the photograph, below, after he'd filled up and left for his home.

The Food City gas was lower than other gas stations in the area. Mike and I had noticed the prices, at various stations, on the way to the shop. The photograph is looking southeast. My ol' truck is behind me, not in the image. My timing was off. More vehicles were at the pumps or in line to the pumps a few minutes before I took the photograph.

I had to take the photograph! My sarcastic conversation with myself reminded me of the gas lines, during the Carter administration.

The Punishment

So, how was my good deed punished? I awakened the next morning, wondering why the left side of my back (below and behind my “bionic” left shoulder) was very sore! I'd not lifted anything heavy the day before. I'd just done my routine stretches and exercises. After I'd taken the photograph of the gas station, I'd gone inside the Food City, to buy a few items. My right foot had taken the pounding on the asphalt and tile well enough. (My right foot step may never feel the same as my left foot step – unless it takes a few more years to feel the same.)

Yesterday, Thursday, my chiropractor worked me in, at 12 PM. My ol' truck took me there and back. My chiropractor (Doc. Art) adjusted me and noted the tight and stiff muscles in the left side of my back.

Aside from the good deed that I'd done on Wednesday, I'd not done anything else to “kink up” my muscles! No good deed goes unpunished.

My “no good deed goes unpunished” moment generated some “cussin' and fussin'” yesterday. (My 2/15/2009 article, “Cursing & Praying on a Ridge,” is in my “Articles of Note - A Select Few” section for a reason.) Today, however, I endure – in the everlasting mindset. I'd rather not feel the pain. It will go away. It's my “thorn in the flesh.” I ain't “cussin' and fussin'” today. God forgave me, for my Irish mouth of yesterday.

The Song by Van Morrison, as a Side Note

Today (Friday), the muscle tightness continues. I'm doing my various stretches. I've wrapped the stretchy cloth stuff around my torso (as if I'd cracked a rib). I've used the green tube stuff (BioFreeze) and the blue bottle stuff (of whatever herbs and oils that Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had learned to concoct for me years ago). I took a long, hot shower. I use my “muscle thumper.”

It's another “setback to go forward.” I've had plenty of them. I'm tired of them. Our regular, once every four weeks, chiropractic appointment is next Wednesday (the 12th). Mrs. Appalachian Irishman will be on “fall break” next week, so we'll go together. I figure that I'll be back to my “bionic” normal, by or before next Wednesday. It takes time to unkink kinked muscles.

While “enjoying the pain” early this morning, I searched the “Interweb,” by Norton Safe Search, for “No good deed goes unpunished.” The second search result was the Van Morrison (YouTube channel) song Van Morrison - No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (Official Audio). I'd never heard that song. I listened to it. It's good enough to hear once.

By the way, I'm aware of Van Morrison. I've heard his song, “Brown Eyed Girl,” on the radio many times. Today, I learned that his song, “Wild Night,” was released in 1971. I didn't know that “Wild Night,” by John Mellencamp and Meshell Ndegeocello, in 1994, covered Morrison's original. I'd always thought that John Mellencamp wrote that song. Well, you live and learn, even if it is only music trivia.

Spiritual Conclusion

That “no good deed goes unpunished” is a truism – in a sarcastic and humorous sense. The phrase is a way to laugh off life's unfortunate realities. This article is one example. Others abound. Imagine -- as I'm sure that has happened somewhere – that a man stops to help another, whose car has a flat tire. After helping, the man's truck won't start. I'm sure that my readers can regale us by their examples as well! (If you have a “no good deed goes unpunished” story, you are welcome to enter a comment!)

That good is rewarded and bad is punished is truth – in the everlasting sense. The inspired apostle Paul has written:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10, NIV)

Please read chapters four and five, for the complete context. In fact, read all of Second Corinthians! The following are a few more verses from that section, with my comments.

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4, NIV)

That truth, of about 2,000 years ago, remains the same today. Folks need to open their eyes and see the Light.

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NIV)

From the moment of birth, we all start to die. Yes, we grow from birth to adult life. We either wear out or rust out, depending on how active we are. I'm wearing out. My “no good deed goes unpunished” story is an example. I call it “chump change.” By faith, I see what is unseen. I look forward to the eternal weight of glory!

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, NIV)

Doing good deeds only – without salvation in Christ, by a faith response to God's grace – will not save. The saved, however, “work out” their salvation, by God working in them, for “his good purpose.” See the inspired apostle Paul's words in Philippians 2:12-13. Saving, active faith inspires good deeds, which is God's purpose for the saved. Christ's love, in his atoning sacrifice, compels us! We live for Christ – not for ourselves! It's not a chore. Good deeds flow from the saved, naturally, as spring water flows from the mountain. It's refreshing!

What is the conclusion? In Christ, all good deeds done in His service, as inspired by His love for us – are rewarded everlastingly!

Humorous Final Conclusion

What? Another conclusion? Forgive me. I have to write this. It's who I am!

To end on a funny note, after my long, hot shower this morning, I heard a dastardly fly, buzzing in my bathroom. I thought: “What else will aggravate me today?”

Using the trusty flyswatter, I sent that pesky fly to everlasting nothingness. I then thought: “When life swats me to death, I'll go to everlasting life – since I have a soul, made in God's image, unlike that fly, which I'd I just killed.”

Okay, I'm done! Writing this article helped loosen my left shoulder area. I'll keep swatting the pesky flies of life, until life swats me and sends me Home. I'm ready to go!


Anonymous said...

I read the article out loud to my Christian friend here. We relate because we are both soul winning Christians. We are both middle aged and have done allot of street work. The persecution is real even in America now for serving Christ. Christian white men are being canceled, doxed, banned from employment, even from access to things like medical care or buying groceries. In Satan's world, we know that no good deed goes unpunished. But to our sadness, the Lord Jesus will soon return and destroy all who did the punishing of the loving sheep. Thanks for the article.

M. Fearghail said...

Thank you, anonymous, for reading and sharing my article and for your comment! May God bless your Christian friend and you, in His service, by leading the lost to Christ. To evangelize on the streets is brave. I pray that you both produce much fruit, by sharing biblical words of wisdom to the lost, to bring them to salvation! That's how the “culture war,” in this once great nation, will be won – if folks listen.
Christians, since the first century, have suffered persecution. I was somewhat shaken, when I read your words, about white, male Christians, whom you must know, who are specific targets of persecution. As long as we Christians (of any race, male or female) are wise and innocent (Matt. 10:16), then we will shine like stars, as God does his work in us, in this warped world (Phil. 2:12-16). God will win the war with Satan. We, as Christians, will share the victory – despite temporal trials.
By the way, I didn't know what “doxed” meant, until today. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary tells me that “dox” or “doxx” is: “to publicly identify or publish private information about (someone) especially as a form of punishment or revenge.” The word has been around since 2009. I learned something. Of course, to “doxx” someone is to follow the devil, not Christ.
In the world, no good deed may go unpunished (as exampled by the humor in my article). The deeper conclusion of my article, however, was: “In Christ, all good deeds – done in His service, as inspired by His love for us – are rewarded everlastingly!” May your Christian friend and you, as you endure trials and persecution, continue to do good deeds in Christ's service! Those deeds will be rewarded everlastingly! You are both in my thoughts and prayers.