Galatians 6:9-10, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
For several years, I had an annual fall tradition of buying and killing two potted mums. I optimistically bought the plants around October 1, brought them home, and carefully replanted them into decorative pots by my front door. I felt confident that the mums would adorn my porch through the entire month of October—maybe even into November if we didn’t have a hard freeze!
I faithfully watered my mums . . . at least for a few days. Then life got busy. I’d drive up to the house, see the slightly-wilted mums and think, I really should water those when I get inside. I’d park in the garage, walk into the whirlwind of a home full of young children, and promptly forget. My mums rarely lasted until November 1, and I didn’t get the colorful curb appeal I hoped for.
I sowed, but I grew weary, so I did not reap.
In Galatians 6:9-10, Paul exhorts his readers to continue doing good and not give up, even when they grow weary. When we look at the context of this passage, we see he’s talking specifically about living in community with other believers. Paul knows that life in the household of faith brings challenges. We struggle with our own sin, we lose patience with the sin of others, and sometimes the needs of our community seem never-ending.
As we love and care for those around us, we may grow weary because we don’t see any change in circumstances or character. We may grow weary because the need feels like more than we can handle. Maybe we’ve been pouring out our service for a long time with no end in sight. We feel distracted, weak, powerless, exhausted, frustrated, or grieved, and we’re ready to throw in the towel.
Paul knows we will be tempted to grow weary of doing good, so he gives us this promise: “in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). He hopes this encouragement will spur us on to continue to “do good to everyone, and especially those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).
When we feel fainthearted in our season of sowing, let’s remember this truth:
- When we don’t see results, we can continue to do good because we know our work is not in vain: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
- When we feel distracted and busy, we can run with endurance with our eyes fixed on Christ: “. . . let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1b-2).
- When we’re exhausted and spent, we can press on because the Lord is our strength: “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29).
- When we feel powerless to meet the overwhelming need around us, we can remember that the Lord will provide: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Often the work of doing good feels never-ending, but our sowing is only for a season. This is our time of opportunity, and one day our Savior will come with the winnowing fork in hand, ready for the harvest (Matthew 3:12, Matthew 13:30, Revelation 14:15). Our time of sowing will end; His time of reaping will begin. And by God’s grace, we will reap a bountiful harvest for the glory of His name.