Do you find yourself weary of doing good?
Of doing the dishes, making the meals, wiping up messes, and thinking up adventures? Do you groan in the morning when you hear your alarm clock as a flood of “should” and “to-do’s” enter your brain? Does the thought of one more good thing to do on top of your already busy day burst your heart into overwhelm? Do you just want some time to yourself not to do bad per se, but to just be?
I confess that I can easily weary of doing good. I get tried of trying to do all the things and be all the things. I want to run away and take a long shower and nap while my kids just do life without me. (I kid, that would only end in ruin & disaster over here.) But the Truth is, sometimes I am weary of “doing” anything especially good.
Paul in Galatians encourages and pleads with us to not grow weary – “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). This is coming right after he reminds us again that to live by our flesh leads to death but to live according to the Sprit is life. This is one of Paul’s mantras – the Truth he lives by and constantly exhorts to the Church.
But again, this “doing” isn’t something we do alone. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in us that leads to life. It is choosing to be a servant to righteousness instead of sin. “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” (2 Cor 9:8). It is God in us that makes all grace abound so that in all things, at all times we have what we need for those good works! It isn’t us piling on so many good things so that we do good things, it is taking on the yoke that is easy & light (Matthew 11:28-30). Trusting that we are God’s handiwork and were created to do good works that He prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Not all the good things, but the good things God has for us.
Do you know what makes us weary? It is when we try to shoulder the burden on our own. When we forget our goal in life and why we are doing good. It is when our motives become false and twisted – turned inward on us. When we make our own list for doing good instead of walking in the good works God has for us. And when we don’t see the instant harvest of all the good things we are doing and instead of living in hope, turn our hearts toward disappointment and bitterness.
The truth is that sometimes the doing good won’t result in the instant harvest we want – “in due season we will reap.” I know as I mom it feels like so many of my good works are still waiting for the season that I can reap. But even so we must not give up. This is why Paul reminds us time and time again to keep our eyes on the goal – “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
In not growing weary of doing the good, we will see fruits of the Spirit along the way, but the reward for some things may never come until the end when we hear “Well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). In due season we will reap if we keep our eyes on Jesus, stay connected to the vine, walk in the good works the Lord has for us, and faithfully surrender each day to His Spirit. It’s not easy but it is worth it, and the best part is that it isn’t of our hustling towards good each day but instead a faithful resting in the Spirit, trusting Him to lead and guide, and being faithful to where He is directing your steps.
A Mama’s Prayer
Lord give us the strength to do good. The good works you have prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10) May we be obedient and ready to do the good works you have for us today (Titus 3) no matter how big or small. No matter how much or little. As we make meals and wipe hands and kiss boo-boos and take care of sick kids and pay bills and meal plan and make grocery lists and load the dishwasher and fold the laundry and engage with others and love our spouses and run errands and work inside and outside of the home and rest and seek you. You are our source. You are the vine and we are the branches (John 15) Help us produce fruit that only comes from your Spirit in us (Galatians 5:22-23), give us ears to hear and eyes to see, and help us to not grow weary in doing good. Amen.