I try to read out of the devotional Our Daily Bread every day. Today’s passage was Galatians 6:6-10. As I read verse 9 I was really struck. I’ve heard a million times that we should do good and we will receive rewards later. It’s pretty simple and thus passed over. This passage just sounds like a nice verse to memorize, and if it’s found in a devotional there’s usually a talk about how someone poured into someone’s life and didn’t see any results till years later when that person thanked them. This sounds like a pretty ‘standard’ Christian blog. But standard isn’t good enough. God didn’t call us to be standard, but to be more, so that’s what I’m going to try to do.
When doing good we need to not lose heart. I have seen so many people lose heart in doing good: friends, pastors, myself included. We know we are supposed to do good but at some point we think “This isn’t worth my time”, “they aren’t going to change and I’m not able to help at all” , or “I didn’t make a difference. I made it worse”. Now there are times we are to step back and invest our time in other ministries, as seen in Acts 6, but we are never called to cease doing good, even if doing so seems pointless.
Doing good does more than make you feel good.
Paul now gives us a promise (Gal 6:9): “In due season we shall reap if we faint not.”
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
There will be a harvest. This is encouraging because even when we try to do good to someone but don’t see any fruit, we can know that there is some harvest. Sometimes it is just in heaven for being obedient. Sometimes we see the reward over time. Sometimes it takes time. Sometimes we are never the ones who see it, but rather we see back sliding. Even in these cases, God is working and there will be a harvest. I think of the time that one of my co-workers at camp (we’ll call them H) was working with a camper during day camp who came wanting to know God but left camp in a ‘worse’ state, or so they told H. Later one of the leaders told us that the camper wanted to come back because they had such an amazing week. Even when we don’t think that we are doing anything, there is a harvest, it is not barren. Not ever.
And lastly, we are not to grow weary. Working at camp for about 120 hours (not including the sleeping in the cabin with the campers) can be exhausting. After telling campers several times to do something and having patience with them, or just trying to manage them, it can seem like it’s pointless. If you think about it, it’s a little crazy to work at camp. In fact, everything in the Christian life is crazy. If there were no reward, no resurrection, no God who has redeemed us, everything would be absurd. Why should we have patience with anyone? I should be able to get what I want, even if that means stealing, cheating, lying, hurting others, being manipulative, and just dang selfish. But once Christ and the Resurrection come in, everything changes. Suddenly it only makes sense to be patient, to do good, to love others, and to love God. Since this is true, we do not need to grow weary. If we grow weary we will not reach our prize, our goal, the harvest of the good we do. I’m not talking about salvation, but about the blessings of God, on earth and in heaven. So go and do good, don’t lose heart, but know that we will reap rewards is we continue on.