Galatians 6:9-10 (MSG)
“So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time, we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.”
Life is tiring.
That’s a well-known fact. From the very start of the human downfall, it has already been written in stone that man’s life will be full of trials and hardships, testing and shaking them to the very core – to the point of fatigue and surrender. Though it is as cliché as what most books tell (the good will ultimately conquer the bad; keep doing good even if everyone else thinks otherwise; don’t give up being the good guy…) sometimes, even if we know what is right, even if we know what we ought to do, it is very discouraging to continue on the this path if what is teeming all around us is negativity – something that will suck out the very strength in our hearts. This is an age where it is not uncommon that right motives are answered by ingratitude and slander. We all had our fair share of ‘I just wanted to help’ moments but let us face it: there will be times when our sincerity will be met in the wrong way.
Yet despite all these, Paul – in his letter to the church of Galatia – ultimately encourages persistence when it comes to good works; even going so far as to command the body to never get tired of it. (Let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good) The fact that he stresses the prohibition of fatigue emphasizes its importance in how large a part of Christian growth doing good is. Galatians chapter 6 is the epitome of the saying “Action speaks louder than words.”
The true measure of Christianity is not in the number of verses memorized, the vast knowledge in theological facts, or even the loudness of one’s voice in singing worship songs – remember the Bible has recorded that even the most highly esteemed of the Pharisees did all that, yet God shunned them all because “…their hearts are far away from me” (Matt. 15:8). To explain further, the context of doing good stated in Gal. 6:9-10 does not only refer to “charity works” which everyone had gotten used to. It is something that far surpasses those and, as I believe, encompasses all actions that would prove your beliefs: prayer, testimony, charity, faith, self-control, and love among the basics.
Let me give you one proof and I wouldn’t stray from the most obvious of all examples: Jesus Himself. He was a man of few words: didn’t speak unless the Spirit told Him to; chose not to speak even if He knew He was right. But He was a man of action: He did not just pray; did not just fast; did not just memorize God’s word to the very last letter. He preached, he healed the sick, he helped the needy, He drove out demons and perhaps the most significant of all His actions was that He died: For you, for me, for everyone who was and is to come. Now that’s something no other good deed could ever hold a candle to.
This brings us to the point of the main verse: Christianity, in its very essence, is founded in the idea of action. Not words, actions.
Now because of this essence, we go back to the first paragraph of this article: Life is tiring.
Enter the devil.
Don’t you ever wonder why there are moments when all we want is to do the right thing and yet there are factors, inside or outside, that discourage us to do so? Things outside our control could be hectic schedules, bad weather, and / or something that is out of our comfort zones. Those within our control could be our personalities, past traumas, and even just plain inactivity. There are even moments when we mean well yet we end up doing the opposite of it. Even the great apostle Paul noticed this:
Romans 7:21-23 (CEV)
21 The Law has shown me that something in me keeps me from doing what I know is right. 22 With my whole heart I agree with the Law of God. 23 But in every part of me I discover something fighting against my mind, and it makes me a prisoner of sin that controls everything I do.
We all have the best intentions, however even the purest of sincerities could fail because of human nature. And it is with delight that the enemy uses these factors and our human nature to prevent us from growing in this aspect.
Fortunately, God did not leave us hanging in midair to wonder what we should or should not do. In those two verses in Galatians 6:9-10, He has given us main points as a start of how we can act it out:
- Do not allow yourself to get tired.
Mark 11:23 (MSG)
“This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done.”
Easier said than done, but it is not impossible. The human brain is amazing – the body follows what the brain tells it to do. That’s why it is said that battles are won or lost inside the mind, so all the better to start in it. We are all familiar with the 10-90 principle: 10 percent of what happens is outside our control while it is otherwise for the 90. It all goes down to this: for whatever we do, our choices and reactions would determine whether we will succeed or fail. Willpower is the main answer. Choose not to get tired. Rest physically if you must, but never spiritually.
- Do not give up
Hebrews 12:1 (MSG)
“It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit!”
If we wanted to succeed in doing good, never give up. NEVER ever, ever in a million years, or in a million trials, or in a million lifetimes, GIVE UP. History has proven that those who succeed are those who never quit. There would always be hurdles along the way, but those who reach the finish line are the ones who press on. So when the time comes that you are being scoffed for your actions, keep your head up and say, “Maybe next time.”
- Do good every time you get the chance
Ephesians 5:16 (MSG)
“So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!”
Every day is a chance – to make things right for a better one than yesterday, so get every minute to count. There would always be opportunities to prove your actions. It doesn’t matter if it is big or small, just do it. Be aware and brave enough to take it; to step up and do the right thing.
- Start with those closest to you
We are social creatures; we want to be accepted and this is the reason why fear of rejection is natural to all. That is why we are instructed to start with those closest to us – friends and family to name the obvious. This is because they are the least likely to reject our advances so we can start “practicing” with them before going out of our social circles.
Life is hard, that’s a well-known fact. But in spite of it, life is also beautiful – because even in the midst of man having fallen from the grace of God, there remains that mercy that enables us not just to survive, but live and it’s embedded in the very nature that makes us what we are. Because even if the whole world (with its perpetual chaos and disparity) seems to be too dark for redemption, there remains in us the idea that doing good is, and always will be, the right thing to do. It is in this notion that we should strive, in all our weaknesses and strengths and in all our being, to do all we can to preserve that idea and, intentionally or not, bring glory and thanksgiving to the one who created us.
And He has promised that:
“…At the right time, we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up or quit.”
This new year where most of us are eager to start anew, may we find enduring joy in doing good not only to those who would reciprocate the same but to everyone because everyone deserves such. Happy new beginnings to all!
All glory belongs to the King of Kings.