So let’s not get tired of doing good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. — Galatians 6:9
Doing good. What is doing good? Getting our kids up early for school and having a hot breakfast waiting on the table with a morning devotional? Baking cookies for the new family that moved in next door? Visiting the elderly woman from church in the nursing home? How about this one — picking up a homeless person off of the street and taking him home to live with your family for, well, forever likely.
Is that good?
I think we all want to do good. Especially as women. Good to our men, our kids, our friends and family. We want to love extravagantly, making sure to always say please and thank you, in fact a hand-written note is even better. And yet, we get tired. I’ve taken notice lately of friends saying things to me like, “I’m worn out. I have nothing left to give. The well is dry.” I know it is true. We begin things with such enthusiasm. How about volunteering to help with the toddler Sunday School class? We begin the first day with hugs and kisses for the cuddly tots. Happily scooping up crying little ones and crooning softly in the ear of the offended small person. As the weeks progress we notice the crying emanating from the room as we top off the travel mug at the communal coffee pot wincing inwardly at the thought of walking in to the preschool wing. The thrill, inner power, and joy we felt has seeped away. It’s become a chore. We have lost heart.
We don’t want to, but it happens. Mark 14:38 says
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Can I get an amen?
This is so relevant in my own life right now. I was the lady who was compelled by the Holy Spirit to pick up a homeless man (with the blessing of my husband), and bring him home to live with our family. This came with a wide array of opportunity to do good. For instance, washing his clothes. They smelled so bad that the smell hung around in my dryer for months, so we basically ALL smelled like him. Then there was the cleaning up after him. He would make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the kitchen, and, like a teenager leave a sticky trail on the light switch, fridge and pantry doors. Then there was the driving him to doctors’ appointments, delving into Social Security benefits, dealing with his family and taking him and picking him up from work daily. I did not have to look far for an opportunity to do good on a daily basis.
And to be frank, there were many days I was weary. Almost 3 years later there still are.
I have wondered many times “why me God?” Why was I the person compelled to pick him up and be his mother/driver/secretary/caretaker?
At the end of the day, when I’m weary, and I sit on the floor with God’s Word open on my lap, and my eyes fall on the pages, and the Holy Spirit speaks, I know.
I am so like the Martha of the book of Luke. She so wanted to do good to the Lord. To make Him an amazing dinner and be the perfect hostess. In her mind she was doing good. And yet after scurrying about the kitchen and cooking like mad, she peeks out to see her sister sitting at the feet of our Lord. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
Just like Martha so many times I become weary because the motivation for my frenzied activity is not coming from a place of true servanthood. It is coming (and this is so painful to admit) from a place that wants to be patted on the back and told how amazing I am. What a good job I did. What a great mother or wife I am.
You see, the well doing we should be engaging in, and not growing weary of is being patient and kind and good and faithful and gentle and self-controlled. In short, if we lose heart in spending ourselves in love the works of the flesh take over.
So how can we avoid this wrong motivation and spending ourselves from the flesh and not the Spirit. It is quite simple really. We must stop and take care of ourselves. And I’m not saying go to the spa and get a massage. The care comes from the refreshing of the Word of God. Sitting quietly at His feet, the way Martha’s sister Mary did. Jesus reminded Martha
There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.
So, my dear sister, sit at the feet of Christ, listen to the Words that speak quietly yet powerfully from His book. Take care of yourself and be refreshed. This is the way to not grow weary. As the Psalmist says,
Written for Faith.Full by Ginger Sprouse, author of Kinda Like Grace.
* * *
You’re trying to do good. You want to do good, right? But on our own strength, we’ll lose heart and grow too weary to continue. Let’s spend time in the Word and with the Lord and ask Him for His strength! Come share your thoughts on our blog. We want to hear from you about doing good! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full