Sometimes trying to do the right thing can be exhausting. We may wonder, Do my well-intentioned words and actions make any difference at all? I wondered this recently when I sent a prayerfully thought-out email meant to encourage a friend, only to have it met with an angry response. My immediate reaction was a mixture of hurt and anger. How could I be so misunderstood?
Before I responded out of anger, I remembered that we won’t always see the results (or the results we desire) when we tell someone about how Jesus loves them. When we do good things for others hoping to draw them to Him, they may spurn us. Our gentle efforts to prompt someone to right action may be ignored.
Galatians 6 is a good place to turn when we’re discouraged by someone’s response to our sincere efforts. Here the apostle Paul encourages us to consider our motives—to “test our actions”—for what we say and do (vv. 1–4). When we have done so, he encourages us to persevere: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people” (vv. 9–10).
God wants us to continue living for Him, which includes praying for and telling others about Him—“doing good.” He will see to the results.
Dear God, thank You for the encouragement we receive from Your Word. Help us to persevere in doing good.
We can leave the results of our lives in God’s hands.
Sometimes we can be tempted to take pride in our own good deeds. Unfortunately, this attitude may result in our looking down on the shortcomings of others. Instead, Paul says that believers empowered by the Spirit are to restore those caught up in a sin gently. By helping people deal with their sins, we’re fulfilling the law of Christ.
This helps us understand what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). Helping others grow in godliness is the essence of loving them.
How can you love your neighbor today?