When our daughter was in high school and feeling omniscient, she had a phrase that she used to repel any attempt to enlighten her or explain some idea. The word was “whatever,” and it was guaranteed to stop any further conversation as she served notice that she had no interest at all in what was being said by her parent. “Whatever” was the ultimate definition of indifference or scorn. Fortunately, she outgrew this.
Whatever has other definitions. 1. Everything or anything: “Do whatever you please.” 2. No matter what: “Whatever happens, we’ll meet here tonight.” 3. Any number or kind: “Whatever requests you make will be granted.”
There are some other definitions, but this gives a good idea of its absence of a specific reference. Whatever is used in interesting ways in the Bible and gives some insight into the kind of freedom that God gives us all. To the disciples Jesus said, “Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave.” By so indicating, Jesus gave his disciples the freedom to choose the towns they would go to.”
The writer, Paul, told the church at Corinth that whatever they did, should be done for God’s glory. The only boundary or limitation that Paul placed on their activity was that it be God glorifying.
The writer, James, took this a step further and said that to knowingly fail to do something something good is sin. So there is an accountability that is laid on us to make good personal judgments and act on them. It is as if God is saying to us, “Do something good.”
In Philippians 4:8 we are given the freedom to dwell on any and everything that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable or praiseworthy. Permission is not needed. We have carte blanche on these good things. We are also accorded similar freedoms in prayer. Whatever you ask…” Jesus said.
God gives his people enormous freedom to act on the many good choices around them. Doing good has God’s endorsement and has already been approved as long as it is for God’s glory. That’s a no brainer.