Jump Start # 3084
Galatians 6:9 “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”
Doing good is good. Doing good is characteristic of the people of God. At the end of the Good Samaritan parable, Jesus said, “Go and DO thou likewise.” Do good. In Titus, “…our people must learn to engaged in good deeds to meet pressing needs.” Do good.
Our verse brings out a problem in doing good. Those that do good can get weary. They can lose heart. And, when that happens, they stop doing good. Discouragement takes over. That typically leads to complaining, bitterness and throwing in the towel on helping out anymore. It’s what Martha experienced. It wasn’t that she had to cook for Jesus and the apostles. She was bothered because she was left alone. She cooked and her sister sat. She did it all. She may not have burned the biscuits, but she certainly cooked her attitude. She wasn’t happy.
What Martha felt is what a lot of doers of good feel. They don’t mind serving, it just bothers them that they always have to serve while others sit idly on the sidelines of life. How often is it announced that teachers are needed for classes. No one steps up. No one volunteers. Finally, the tired soul who has been teaching nonstop for years offers to help. This is done more out of obligation and guilt than passion. None one else will. The call is made for a special clean up day around the church house. It’s the same ones that showed up last time. The smaller the congregation, the more this becomes a real burden. Worn out, burned out, stressed out and tired, the same ones take food for a funeral. It’s the same ones who have a visiting preacher in their homes. Same ones. How does one not get weary? How does one not get discouraged? How does one not think bad about others who never seem to do anything? Been there and have several T-shirts from that experience myself. The service you do can be ruined because, like Martha, you are upset with others.
Here are some thoughts:
First, Paul said to Titus said, our people must learn to engage in good deeds. This is something society doesn’t teach. Most homes do not teach this. Unless a person sees a positive upside to helping out, they won’t do it. Disciples are different. So, our people must be taught. They must be equipped as the Ephesians were told.
Instead of handing it all to someone, help them and teach them through baby steps. Co-teach with someone who hasn’t taught much. Help them to write out some lessons and allow them to teach a few times. Baby steps. Have a couple with a few others into your home for a dinner. Encourage one to do the same in their home, and offer to help them out. You may still be involved, but you are training, showing and teaching someone how to do things. Our people must learn.
Second, take a break when you can. This is something we preachers would do well to listen to. Coming up with ideas all the time for classes, sermons, blogs and podcasts can be tiring. The bucket can run dry. I’m asked often, “Do you ever run out of ideas to write Jump Starts about?” And, the answer is YES. I have something that helps me now, but there have been times when I sat looking at a blank computer screen wondering if anything would magically appear. Don’t become weary. Don’t lose heart. Those are the words from our verse. Take a break, but don’t quit. Wise shepherds will recognize this among their teachers and especially the preacher. He may need to be told to take a vacation. It will benefit him as well as the church.
Third, do what you can do. The overwhelming feeling comes from seeing so much that needs to be done and feeling that you have to do it all. You can’t. There is too much. Delegating others helps. I’ve found that many will do things if you ask them, but on their own they may never see what needs to be done. There are many office tasks that others can do so the preacher can get to what he needs to do.
Our verse, beside the negatives of losing heart and growing weary, also contains a promise and a blessing. There is a reaping that comes from the good that is done. It comes about in time. God recognizes. Heaven sees the cup of cold water that was given. The good that you do may not generate any thank yous. You may wonder why do such things, if no one seems to appreciate them. God does. God knows. There is a reward for the good that you do.
The heart of the kingdom has survived because of the many men and women who spent themselves doing good. They went out of their way. They did what no one else would. Those little Bible classes taught those young boys who grew up to be shepherds and preachers in God’s kingdom. The food that was shared, helped a new mom or someone recovering from surgery. You may not have heard, but there were prayers going upward with your name attached to them. You helped. You made a difference. Time, energy and resources that came out of your pocket helped others stay with the Lord. Your work and your impact is why others happily say that the congregation is loving, friendly and supportive. This description doesn’t come from the sideline people. It is said because you have the blisters on your hands, the mud on your feet, the sore back, the tired eyes, and yet onward you go. Another person to help. Another class to teach. Another way to shine your light. You are making Christianity visible, attractive and contagious.
Don’t lose heart…don’t get weary. The reward is just around the corner. To the work, to the work, is our call and our mission. If only others would join with us. But even if they don’t, we’ll work until Jesus comes.