Monday, August 13, 2018

Lose Heart

Lose Heart
August 13, 2018
Galatians 6:9  "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary."

Paul writes to the Galatians and encourages them in their Christianity. He said, "don't lose heart." What does it mean to lose heart? It means to grow discouraged and give up. Surely the Galatians didn't need encouraged, right? You and I never need encouraged, do we? Only high-maintenance, insecure Christians need encouraging, right? We all know the right thing and just submit to that; doing the right thing is easy all the time, right? If that were true there would be no fallen Christians. Paul knew what most leaders need to readily grasp, that the saints need encouragement in doing the right thing at all times. It isn't easy, staying the course, doing the right thing, especially if you can't see the results of the hard work. Paul was telling them to to do the right thing, even if they don't see the results of their hard work, simply trusting in the good they are doing.

We all know the right thing to do, but it is easy to think no one is paying attention and the work doesn't really matter, that we can quit and it wouldn't change anything. After all, we aren't really having an impact on this world; no one's life is being changed for the better? This work, it does not matter. The small ripple in the pond has no effect on anything; it quickly dissipates without any true impact. When you can see the results of your work it is easy to keep going, doing good after immediate feedback. But what if there is no feedback loop? What if you know the right thing but there is no reward, no visible sign of the impact, no knowledge or understanding of the harvest? Can you keep going? How long can you keep doing goodness blindly? Can you do the right thing, day in and day out, without see a harvest, and still keep going? My guess is you're tempted to give up and quite sooner rather than later. I'd like to give up many times, as well. I think of quitting often, not my Christianity, but just the simple goodness from day to day sometimes, to take a vacation for an extended period of time, maybe not even getting back from vacation. My good work, it really doesn't matter to anyone, no one will miss it. Some days I can't even define what my good work is, or what it is supposed to look like. If I can't see it, then no one else can see it right? Paul says that argument would be wrong. He should know. He endured so much for doing good and barely saw the immediate feedback. Thousands of years later, his good work is still impacting the kingdom. He says not to lose heart.

People are watching you more than you'll ever realize. Your life is on display, so is the good work you are doing. People notice it, and are benefit ting from your good work, only they aren't telling you. You don't see the harvest, but the impact is real and people's lives are being blessed. Paul says to keep going, even if you cannot see the reward or the results. The point is not the results, the point is the work. We are trained to desire a feedback mechanism them, a reward system. If there is no reward then why do it? Paul said to fight against the lack of reward system, to not look at that but focus on the good work. If you look for the reward you'll likely quite too soon. Paul says to focus on the good, on doing the right thing. He promises the reward in due time, but the due time frame is up to the Lord. Don't lose heart.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Deut 6:18, Is 1:17, John 14:21 Gal 6:7-16, 1 Cor 10:13

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