And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Some of us are people who always put on a brave face, no matter the situation. We don’t want others to know that mentally, we aren’t feeling our best. Similarly, we may be someone who consistently helps others and does everything we can for other people, often forgetting about our own needs. Then, some of the people we help are ungrateful, or they take advantage of us. Any combination of these scenarios can be exhausting and cause us to “grow weary.” It’s similar to when we know we have to plaster a smile on our face, even when we don’t want or feel like doing so, and eventually, our facial muscles begin to hurt and get tired. The same can happen to our minds, bodies, and spirits, especially when we see no reward for our good deeds.
The phrase “grow weary” can mean to “grow tired” or “become discouraged.” When Paul says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good,” he is telling us not to lose our motivation in continuing to do good. We feel as if we have been doing good all our lives. The temptation over time is to get tired and weary of this. Probably the worst enemy of enthusiasm is time. We all have a remarkable and sad capacity for getting tired of too much of a good thing. Almost every one of us can think of something we have been enthusiastic about, but now, our joy and enthusiasm have faded. However, we must keep in mind that the promise of a harvest in due season; of fruitfulness in due time. And the condition is “if we do not give up,” we will reap the reward, not necessarily in this life, but in the next.
The theological debate over whether salvation is by faith or by works has caused Christian denominations to disagree for centuries. Most of Christianity believes that both faith and good works are necessary for salvation. Others, like evangelicals, believe that good works are the consequence of salvation and not its justification. James 2:14-17 is clear about the correlation between faith and good works:
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Many Christians forget that if they must do good as well as have faith to reach salvation. In the last four years, we have seen many people profess their Christianity yet support the greed and sinful, selfish, and uncaring ways of Donald Trump. Trumpism actively subverts the Christian idea of doing good to help others. They have refused to wear masks because it takes away their personal freedom and their own choices. They do not care that they should wear masks to protect others, not just themselves. They also fight to take rights away from Americans that they deem unworthy: LGBTQ+, women, immigrants, African Americans, and the list continues. When someone cares about their own greedy ways to the detriment of others’ fundamental rights and freedoms, they have turned their back on God, and they will not reap the rewards of the next life.
This pandemic, the recent election, the uncertainty of what harm Donald Trump and the Republican Party can cause the United States has caused many of us despair. All the other issues with work, school, family, etc., have caused significant amounts of worry about the constant conflict or difficult times of the last nine months. What we must remember is—Do not give up! Why? Because we will reap a harvest. God will come through for us. When? In due season. It may be in this life, or it may be in the next, but our reward is coming. Some labor faithfully with little reward to show for it in this life, but the certainty that our good works and good deeds will be rewarded to us in the eternal life after this one. Our goodness is not for nothing. Despite our difficulties, God is faithful and will give us a harvest of blessing. So, we can’t let life’s problems cause us to give up and put us on the sidelines. Keep hope alive because this, too, shall pass.