Do you ever get tired of doing good things for other people? I can’t decide if I get tired of doing good or just tired…period! I think the older that I get the more weary I am of the world and all its ways. I am tired of evil winning. I am tired of all the lies people tell. I am tired of bad things happening to good people. I am tired of our “me-first” culture. I am tired. The Apostle Paul reminds us not to get weary.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9, (New International Version or NIV).
Easy for you to say Paul, you aren’t living in a self-centered America! Okay, to be fair the Roman world was just as bad, if not worse, than America so get over it Katherine! To be fair to a passage we should always look at the context of the verses surrounding a verse, so here it is.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers,” Galatians 6: 1-10, (NIV).
Paul is reminding Christians of their human frailties and when one of us sins the Christians in the local church should help that one sinner to repent and turn back on the path of righteousness. It is part of the local body of Christians job to restore others, to do good for them and for the body of Christ as a whole. Paul warns those who are restoring someone to be careful that the sin doesn’t suck them into the world of evil. Sin often looks pretty good on the outside and many temptations look like they would be fun so it is worth noting Paul’s warning here.
He also reminds us Christians that we should also be on guard for our own sins and make certain that we are not sinning either. In other words judge yourself first rather than others and you will make fewer mistakes and sin. We are to not grow weary in doing good, in doing the good work of correction and reproof in our own life first and then in the lives of others. Parents do this type of work often with their children but the local body of believers in Christ are to mentor each other as well.
He continues with using agriculture or farming as an example. A good farmer will plant and wait for the time of harvesting what he has planted. Of course anyone who is a farmer or has ever known a farmer realizes that in between the planning and the harvest there is a lot of work going on. There are weeds that have to be dealt with and watering for the plants to grow, even thinning out the new plants is necessary sometimes.
I think that in our lives that is what we are to do when we are constantly judging our own motives, actions, and behaviors. We are tending our own crop. Even with all the work a farmer does, it is the God of heaven that brings the yield. There are so many things that are out of the farmer’s control. Too little or too much rain can be a problem or pests, hail or heavy winds and the crop is destroyed or rendered useless. Even the soil that was planted can affect the outcome of the crop; there is good soil and not so good soil. I think it is the same in our own lives. We are working constantly in our own lives to make certain we are applying what we have learned from the Bible. Paul recognizes how tired we get, how exhausting the battle can be for us at times. And so he reminds us to continue doing good, the good work of the Gospel in our lives and in others that are around us.
The outcome of any crop is dependent on the work that was put into it. I remember a few years ago my son wanted to plant something and watch it grow. We went to the garden shop and found a cherry tomato plant and he planted it in a large pot. His responsibility was to water it, take care of it and help it to grow. He talked to the plant, he sang to the plant and he watered the plant. It grew so large and we harvested cherry tomatoes for months. I finally used the last of the crop for our Christmas dinner salad! No kidding!!!! He did a great job but he never ate one of the cherry tomatoes because he doesn’t like tomatoes. He just loved the process of helping them to grow and he loved harvesting them. Imagine if he gave that much personal attention to someone at his school or at church. Imagine if we all gave such personal attention to someone who is on the fringes of our lives. We would see them grow and we would see them produce some really wonderful fruits. Who knows but what they might also grow a stronger root system that plants them deeper into life and become like a tree planted. Jeremiah says something to that effect.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV).
Do you feel like a blessed person? Are you being a blessing to someone else? I think it is time to look around at the people in your church, in your work place, in your sphere of influence and find someone to encourage. Maybe you are the one in need of some encouragement. I have found in my own life that times of discouragement are as a result of my looking in the mirror and seeing only me. Finding someone to help, to bear the load of burdens they are carrying, to give them encouragement and time and love and patience is all part of doing good.
Connection is the key, are you connected? To what are you connected, I mean we all are connected to something or someone. Being connected to the Bible and applying it to your life is exhausting and tough work but eternity is at stake, your eternity and others eternity as well. Keep working, keep encouraging, keep doing good and do not grow weary. God sees you and knows and appreciates your hard work and that is the best encouragement of all. He will give you the strength you need, never too much nor too little but just the right amount of strength to see you through. That’s one of the things I love about God! Let’s get out there and build a forest of healthy trees (people) that will be as refreshing as a tree beside a stream to weary worldly travelers.