Keep on Keeping on

Galatians 6:9-10 ESV

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.

Do you ever feel like no matter what you do you can’t win?  There are days that it feels like, even though you continue to “do the right thing”, you can’t win for losing.  There are times in life, in relationships, at work, etc… It seems that you will never be enough, no matter what you do, or how hard you try.  And, that can be exhausting.  But where does that exhaustion come from?  If you notice, everything in those questions and statements was “me” focused.  If I try to measure up, try to be enough, try to do good…. then yes, it is going to be exhausting, if it is done by my own personal effort.  The good we do MUST be done, not for our own effort or personal gain.  But out of a desire to show Christ through our actions.

I have to be honest.  There are days I want to be selfish.  I want credit for what I do and a pat on the back for the good I do or doing the right thing… but I shouldn’t expect that.  Even though it is nice sometimes, it should be just a bonus, not the reward.  I should do the right thing, I should encourage, I should do good no matter what.  That is part of having the Character of Christ.

Growing up, I attended a Christian School, and in my 9th grade Bible Class, our teacher required us to memorize Character Qualities. Many of those stuck with me over the years. We had to memorize the definition and then a verse that went along with that verse.  Integrity, deference, authenticity … and the list could go on.  I have come to appreciate and understand why learning these were important to know.  And, I am grateful to have had the opportunity for these lessons to infiltrate the very essence of who I am.  Do I always follow these qualities?  Well, I am not perfect, so no…. but I honestly desire to do so.

In this passage from Galatians, Paul is writing to the churches in the Galatian province about bearing one another’s burdens.  No one is perfect and we all have things that weighs heavy on our hearts and lives.  That is why God wants us to be a part of a community of Faith.  To spur one another on and to build one another up.  If you read in Galatians 6:1-8, it speaks to just this very thing.  One of my favorite Wisdom books is Proverbs, which that same 9th grade teacher had us read through the Proverbs each day of the week, since there are 31 Proverb.  I did not appreciate that then, like I do now… but one of my favorite  is Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron,.. one man sharpens another.”  We are to challenge each other, build one another up in our faith, and know that we may not get that pat on the back or “atta boy” or “atta girl” in this life.  However, one thing I have come to realize is that Jesus was all about people.  We are precious to Him, and our reward may simply be to know in our heart of hearts that we have brought someone closer to Him, just because “it is the right thing to do”.

So, keep on keeping on, even when it seems exhausting…. and pray for that second wind to come when you aren’t doing it out of your own desires, but out of the desire to see God’s Kingdom increase.

As John 3:30 says; He must increase and I must decrease.

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