I see a whole lot of weary. Weariness from doing good things. Weary moms from the hectic and exhausting pace of parenting young children. Weary husbands from the burden of long hours in a cubicle to support their family. Weary teens burdened with the pressure to perform well for upcoming college entrance applications. Weary children, tired of being hauled from school to practice to church.
We go to bed weary. We wake up weary. We are a perpetually weary culture. I don't know about you, but I'm TIRED of being weary.
So what to do when the Bible clearly commands us not to grow weary of doing good?
"For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 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."
-Gal 6:7-10, emphasis mine
Paul says not to grow weary of doing good. Note that he does NOT say doing good THINGS. Packing our calendar full of doing good things does not equal sowing to the Spirit. We can do good things and not be sowing in the Spirit. Doing good things may not be "doing good to everyone", as the Scripture commands.
For example, it is good to attend church every week. Yet if in the process of getting ready, I am rushing and scolding and full of anger towards my children, I am most certainly not doing good. I am sowing in the flesh, as I give way to my sin. I end up late to church, in a foul mood, not prepared to hear from God or love my church family. I will reap what I sowed and quickly become weary of the strain of getting out the door.
To not grow weary, I must sow in the Spirit.
Your motives and character while you pursue doing good things show to what you are sowing. Earlier in Galatians, Paul lists the fruit of the Spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (vs 22-23).
It is important to note that God does not condone a 'pull yourself up from your own bootstraps' mentality. Only when we declare complete dependency on God's grace and the indwelling of His Spirit will we be capable of sowing this way. It is only moment-by-moment confessing our inability to do anything good apart from Christ that we will be granted the grace to become more Christ-like.
Take my example above. Practicing the fruit of the Spirit, such as having patience towards my children, using self-control in choosing my words, and having a tone of gentleness would have been sowing to the Spirit. I might still be physically exhausted from the stamina needed to wrangle three boys out the door, but I will have a heart ready and open to love and learn.
Dear reader, I want you to know it is OK for you to feel physically weary when you are doing good things for God. But spiritual weariness means you may have grown lax in your pursuit of spiritual disciplines.
Sowing to the Spirit means we need to dust off our Bibles, hit our knees, and pursue fellowship with other believers. We do not have the means to produce these fruit unless we do the work involved. We would do well to remember that it is a harvest we will reap in due season if we do not give up.
See You In The Round!
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."