A friend and I went for a walk with her grandkids. While pushing the stroller, she commented that her steps were being wasted—they weren’t being counted on the activity tracker she wore on her wrist because she wasn’t swinging her arm. I reminded her that those steps were still helping her physical health. “Yeah,” she laughed. “But I really want that electronic gold star!”
I understand how she feels! Working toward something without immediate results is disheartening. But rewards aren’t always immediate or immediately visible.
When that’s the case, it’s easy to feel that the good things we do are useless, even helping a friend or being kind to a stranger. Paul explained to the church in Galatia, however, that “a man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7). But we must “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest” (v. 9). Doing good isn’t the way to gain salvation, and the text doesn’t specify whether what we reap will be now or in heaven, but we can be assured that there will be “a harvest of blessing” (6:9
Doing good is difficult, especially when we don’t see or know what the “harvest” will be. But as with my friend who still gained the physical benefit from walking, it’s worth continuing to do good because the blessing is coming!
Are you discouraged? Ask God to help you trust Him to be faithful in what He’s called you to do. What good thing can you do for someone today?
The idea of perseverance or “keeping at something over time” is expressed twice in Galatians 6:9. First, readers are exhorted to “not become weary in doing good.” The word translated “become weary” (enkakeo) can also be rendered “become tired” or “lose heart.” In Luke 18:1, enkakeo is translated as “not give up” when Jesus told His disciples “they should always pray and not give up.” Each time enkakeo is used in the New Testament it’s expressed as something not to be done.
Second, perseverance is indirectly encouraged in Galatians 6:9 through the words “we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (ekluo). This word can also be translated “tire,” “become weak,” “lose courage,” or “faint.” In Hebrews 12:3, the Lord Jesus is used as the chief example of perseverance for those who are subject to “losing heart.”