Distressed heartaches are akin to sun-soaked patches and chilled traces of worry on our foreheads. The nightly news is abounding in negativity and dire worldly straits, despite modern advances in mobility and connectivity in many nations. Paul encourages us in Galatians 9, “Let us not become (or grow) weary in doing good” (NIV)
Other translations phrase it this way: "Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" - (KJV)
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." (ESV)
"So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up." (NLT)
Weary wraps around everything from strained muscles to over-extended relationships. Messy boundaries and misplaced shame wearies our souls. Parents can surely relate to the physical and mental strains of weariness. But the Bible is talking specifically about a different kind of weary-- an enduring state that goes beyond what we can humanly bear or endure.
It is the breaking point at which we cannot see how to move another step, or take another breath. dictionary.com defines weary as:
1. physically or mentally exhausted by hard work, exertion, strain, etc.; fatigued; tired: weary eyes; a weary brain.
2. characterized by or causing fatigue: a weary journey.
3. impatient or dissatisfied with something (often followed by of)
When doing good in a weary world seems impossible, following Christ empowers us to love each other in spite of the chaos. Here are ten shifts for perspective that can revitalize us to keep going and teach us how to not grow weary as we do good:
1. “Do not be afraid.” Isaiah 41:10
Fear can fuel weariness. It can wage war against every good intention and effort to see the inherent good in the world. Replacing our fears with truth increases our confidence to move forward in obedience. We are purposely placed in proximity to the people around us. There are things for us to do and fight for based on what we’ve been through and where we are. Sometimes, we just need to remind ourselves what God has already brought us through. Recalling a difficult season helps to push us forward in confidence. Seeking God in His Word helps us to align our thoughts to His will for our lives. Practically speaking, it’s the daily pep talk we need before we walk out into the world, and then when we do, our perspective shifts to see the good.
Pride is a double-edged sword. A pastor at our church once spoke an illuminating message on pride, pointing out that when we discount the talents that God has given us, we are allowing pride to work in reverse. Imagine that! When we diss ourselves or discount what we think we are capable of over what God has purposed to do with our lives, we are prideful! I had never thought about it that way before. Every one of us is a beautifully and carefully, fearfully and wonderfully made creation (Psalm 139:14). Who are we to say anything otherwise? Destruction can most definitely ensue if we’re not careful to give glory up without cutting ourselves down.
We’ll never argue anyone into faith in Christ. The above verse reminds us that we are “redeemed and forgiven of sins,” and living like that speaks loudest. He commanded us to love above all else, and we would be wise do make that the focal point of our do-gooding. Only God can change hearts. Be careful not to take on that pressure. Following Jesus is not only about memorizing Scripture and understanding the back drop of Biblical sentiment-- it’s respectfully applying the knowledge revealed. People abound that do not believe the same thing I do about Jesus. The challenge for me has always been how to love them regardless, leaving judgement and opinions in exchange for peace and love. When we seek to live life like that, God shows up.
Design credit: Rachel Dawson
4. Don't let the news set the tone for every day.
“God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 NIV
There are definite reasons to be aware of what’s happening in the world, but the news can get a bit tabloid-ish at times, tainting our view of our town and the world. Stay informed, but not on the hook. Don’t believe everything broadcasted. Be alert and educated to what’s happening in the world, and in our communities, so that we know how to come alongside in help and prayer. But it’s not necessary to tune in like clockwork. The only time we’re to set aside that routinely and rhythmically is with our Heavenly Father who, in spite of our free will to choose, is in control of the universe He created.
Design credit: Rachel Dawson
5. If it’s not kind, be quiet.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
It’s something that I have been preaching to my kids since they could speak, and have to apply over and over again to my own mouth daily. The tendency to misspeak is so rampant in our society. Social media makes it easy to get whatever it is we feel we need to air off our chest, but gossip can wear on a soul. Make efforts to guard your heart from gossip. It’s perfectly fine to love someone and ask them not to gossip around you. Welcome the same critique. Unfollow repeat offenders on social media. It sets off a chain reaction worth starting.
This verse from Queen Esther’s story comes to mind when I recall how we were made to serve each other. She was able to save her people from destruction. We, too, can do our part in saving people from destruction. The unsung ways we help our neighbors and friends are just as important as world wide efforts to end hunger and free those under oppressive rule. It truly starts with one small act of kindness, one listening ear, one homemade batch of cookies…
When the world seems down, look around. More often we become frustrated cycling through the same rampant track of thoughts instead of paying attention to what God’s surrounded us with. We can easily be overcome by unfiltered thoughts that tend to take us down rogue roads. Simply stop and notice the day’s setting. In my experience, even through days full of tears, there is always something good to be cherished.
Witness to the aftereffects of suicide as a young person, as lost and lonely as I have felt at times, I refuse to entertain suicidal thoughts. I have felt the sharp edge of life’s attempts to take me there. Mental health is just as important to take care of as our physical and spiritual health. We would not leave a broken leg unattended, but a broken thought pattern left untreated could maim our minds and hinder our joy. In the worst cases, life is cut short because of it. Take the time to seek counsel when struggling through hard seasons of life. We are not put on earth alone. In addition to any earthly friend or counsel, Christ loves at all times. He never shames or abandons us in our hurt, but loves us regardless and suffers alongside us.
Design credit: Rachel Dawson
9. Know Your Political Conversation Limit
This is where the good in the world becomes most weary and wearing, isn’t it? We are all put on this earth to make a difference. Funnel passion for political issues through a scope of kindness and love. We are all so different, disagreement is bound to keep breeding babies. Why are we surprised? The good news is we don’t have to agree with each other to love each other. We don’t have to understand all sides of the issues, or have a ten-point way to solve all of the world’s problems. Jesus advised, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” Love is the answer, even in anger and argument. Don’t become indifferent because of it, rather, fight for a way to make it better. I believe God cherishes our diversity and encourages us to, as well.
This verse isn’t encouraging us to forget about all the pain and suffering in the world, but rather encouraging us not to lose sight of the One who has eternally overcome all of it. That is where hope is found and grace grants freedom. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be you. Be you, even when it takes a heart-filled effort to hold onto who God made you to be, despite the push of the crowd and the unknown horizon. Take a deep breath. Know you are loved. And know that though the world makes us weary, there is good. Find it. Be a bit of it.
Design credit: Rachel Dawson
Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ on her blog, https://sunnyand80.org.She is a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer, blogger, and preparing to release her first book, “Friends with Everyone.” She resides in Northern Ohio with her husband of eleven years, two daughters, and their Golden-doodle.