Good Deeds Honor God

We are told in Scripture that God’s Word will never return void. Acts of kindness by us will honor Jesus.  He made it plain that we honor Him by doing for others; even to the least in our circle of influence.  Also, The Lord Jesus told us that only God is Good. So, our expressions of “good” are subjective. God is The Absolute Goodness.

Whether we are aware or not…each day we make impressions on others; good, so/so…or not so good. We have the power of choice in making an effort. This month I want to reminisce about a friend whose legacy still impacts my life even though he passed away several years ago.

Many in Middle Tennessee, especially we senior citizens, probably either met or heard stories about Tommy Martin of Murfreesboro. He became a legend. Whether in business, church or community circles, he was affectively called “Mr. Murfreesboro”; all because of his kind and gentle personality, his love for The Lord and the way he was always looking for opportunities to help others by doing “good”.

A successful insurance agent, he was one of the most positive people I have ever known. The glass was always half-full and every cloud had a silver lining. Every day to him was like Christmas…and every meal was a feast. He would give thanks and recognition to God when reminding others that the sun always shines. It depends on a person’s altitude.  In Tommy’s mind…attitude determines altitude.

Being a friend, I always enjoyed hearing his stories about how God had blessed him beyond Tommy’s wildest imagination. He was reared in modest means growing up in Athens, Alabama. He made his way to Murfreesboro to manage a supermarket which led to later becoming an insurance agent.

One story in particular I liked…and there were many… is while driving to an appointment one day, he spotted a lady stranded on side of the road. This was before Interstate 24 was completed…and Highway 41 was noted as The Dixie Highway; route from Chicago to Miami.

Tommy stopped and offered to help. A little reluctant to accept a kind offer from a stranger, she almost brushed him off. But he persisted in wanting to help. Tommy’s sweet and charming personality obviously showed through because she accepted the help. 

The problem was solved, although I don’t remember what the automotive issue was at that time. Keep in mind that Tommy always had pencils or other advertisements in his coat pockets promoting his agency.  At any rate the damsel in distress turned out to be an heiress of the Mars Candy Company, traveling south, presumably to Florida. 

She later remembered Tommy, and purchased his first $1,000,000 life insurance policy. He went on to become a record-setting insurance agent for the next 50 years and was recognized as one of the company’s all-time Legends.

As Christians, we are reminded that everyone needs The Lord. Sometimes mission opportunities are in our backyard…in addition to thousands of miles on the other side of the world.

I learned many valuable lessons from my late friend Tommy Martin.  One lesson in particular:  Ask am I serious about serving The Lord?  Or am I satisfied; content to just meander through life thinking only about myself? Maybe each of us could ask that question every day. Tommy Martin did.

Ralph E. Vaughn

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