Let Us Not Become Weary of Doing Good // Devotion

Family during coronavirus crises having a walk

Let me start today with two questions. I’ll give you the easy one first: How many Bible passages tell us to be selfish and think only of ourselves when we’re making decisions, doing things, speaking, and dealing with other people?

That’s right, zero. There are no such passages because, most importantly, that kind of self-centeredness is not the way God is and not the way his people are to live. We might also add that no human being needs to be told to think first of him- or herself — it’s how we all are by nature as sinners.

OK — second question: How many Bible passages can you think of that tell us to do the opposite — to think first of others, to do what’s good for our brothers and sisters, and to love our neighbor?

Yeah, I’m having trouble counting them, too. There are just so many — not just the verses that say so directly, but also the many historical accounts and stories in Scripture that make clear that just as God from eternity has thought first of our good and loved us unconditionally, so we as his people will love others.

Today I want to focus our thoughts on just one of those many passages, Galatians 6:9,10:

Let us not become weary of doing good, because at the appointed time we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the household of faith. [1]

Now if the Apostle Paul tells us not to become weary of doing good, it’s obvious that there is a possibility, even a likelihood, that we will become weary of doing good. And frankly, we’ve been seeing that.

Maybe you’re no longer feeling you can be patient with or kind to someone you live with. Perhaps, after months of dealing with this pandemic, you’re ready to just go back to your normal behaviors, regardless of the consequences. Maybe you’ve been trying to put the best construction on the words and actions of people with political views the opposite of your own, and you just can’t do it anymore — you’re going to speak your mind and you don’t care how it might blow up.

So, umm, yeah, don’t do that. Don’t give up on doing good, because as Christians we have no reason to ever give up. Not only has our loving Lord never given up on us — remember how, in order to save us, Jesus continued on, resolutely, to the horrendous suffering and death of his cross, even though he could at any moment have said, “Enough of this! I quit!”? — not only does he not give up on us, but God has also promised that he will give us whatever strength, guidance, patience, and comfort we will ever need, no matter the situation.

“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the household of faith.” And this current moment has given us many opportunities to do good.

Some of those opportunities might cost us: giving to help those who have been hurt economically by the pandemic or unrest; taking care of a sick relative, friend, or neighbor; getting involved in a group or project or governing in your community in order to ease burdens or improve society.

But other opportunities to do good don’t really cost us that much. Using our tongues to bless others instead of curse them may be a struggle, but it’s worth it — and an important part of our witness as Christians. Finding occasions to build bridges, and making the effort to build other people up instead of tearing them down, is Christ’s way. And things like washing and sanitizing your hands, maintaining social distance, watching what and whom you touch and breath on, and wearing a mask during a pandemic, to show compassion and in order not to spread contagion — not just in public, but especially with your brothers and sisters in church — well, it might be troublesome, but it’s hardly a burden for most of us.

These are all acts of love for other people. Most all of them also have the added benefit of being good for us, too, in the short or long run, but we do them because we, as God’s children and Christ’s disciples, love to do good to others.

To the extent that they cost us anything — time, trouble, discomfort, money, energy, or opportunities — we bear those costs gladly. Compared to the infinite riches that await us in heaven, they are nothing. And besides, if we heed Christ’s call to deny ourselves and take up our crosses and follow him, self-sacrificing love like his is going to be what characterizes us all the time and in every situation.

So don’t let fatigue or frustration change who you are or what you do. Seize every opportunity to do good to all people.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers (and sisters). Amen.[2]

 

 

Pastor Jeff Samelson
www.christlutheran.net
Christ Lutheran Church (WELS)
Clarksville, MD
Vice-Chairman, Christian Life Resources’ National Board

 

[1] Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version. (2019). (Ga 6:9–10). Milwaukee, WI: Northwestern Publishing House.

[2] Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version. (2019). (Ga 6:18). Milwaukee, WI: Northwestern Publishing House.

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