“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.”
The focus now is on “doing good,” but note that this is still under the heading of sowing and reaping. God calls us to love each other and help each other and do good things for each other. When we do good things for other people, we sow the seeds of the Spirit, and we will reap the fruit of the Spirit.
In relationships, you reap what you sow. At some level, I think everyone understands this principle. Do good things for others, and good things will happen for you. Be nice to people, and they will be nice to you. Be a giver, not a taker. If you give more than you take, eventually you will receive great things.
Having said that, many people don’t execute this principle. Common sense is not common practice. A lot of people today are self-absorbed; they have a very difficult time seeing beyond their self-interests and personal preferences. As a result, they do not seek to do good for others. They seek only their own agenda.
In this Galatians passage, Paul warns Christians against a particular obstacle to doing good for others: Don’t grow weary. The truth is that helping others and investing in their success is hard, tiring work. It takes a lot of energy. It is easy to get discouraged and give up. Once again, this is the battle of the flesh vs the Spirit. The old nature vs the new nature. The old nature is self-centered and doesn’t really want to serve and help others. When it does help others, it gets easily fatigued.
The energy for helping and serving other people comes from the Holy Spirit. Love and service are character attributes of the Spirit of God. When we walk in the Spirit, we are energized to love people and help people. We we walk in the flesh, we are energized to love and help ourselves.
Paul understands the real-world practicality of helping others. We cannot help everyone all the time, so he says “as we have opportunity.” It’s a matter of keeping your eyes open and being aware of what is happening around you in your family, at work, in the church, and in the community. Opportunities for helping will become evident. When you see those opportunities, take action.
The book of Hebrews gives a similar command: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10.24-25)
Please understand what scripture is telling us about how God works in the fellowship of faith. Often times the Lord works through his people to minister to his people. The Holy Spirit will often encourage you and speak to you and help you through other Christians. And he will do the same through you to others.
Since this is how God works, we cannot get tired of helping others. We must never grow weary or give up on doing good. Perseverance is essential. Here is the same command again in another scripture: “As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13)
Like a farmer in the field or a hunter in the forest, we must not grow weary of the process. What happens if the farmer tires of sowing seed? No harvest. What happens if the hunter grows weary of pursuing game? No meat on the table. Reaping and sowing takes time. You can’t rush it. You must be positive, persistent, and patient … and you must follow the process. A farmer does not plant on Monday and harvest the next day. There is a process he must follow.
Paul tells us that we will reap the harvest of our efforts “in due season.” That is, when we have followed the process and the Lord blesses our efforts. Thus the consistent theme of scripture: Do not get weary.
“God will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” (Romans 2.6-8)