"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9
How often in a single day do you get asked the question, "How are you?" Probably 7-10 times at least, right? What is your usual go-to response during the small-talk?
Many people just say, "Good" or "Fine." But, if I had to wager on which response I hear the most often, I would bet it's "Tired."
"How are you doing today, buddy?"
Interesting. Before I go any further, I must confess that I am absolutely guilty of abusing this response to the point of it losing it's meaning. I do indeed choose "tired" as an easy and somewhat honest response. But, I am not actually physically tired all of the times that I use it. I have a sneaking suspicion that maybe I'm not alone, especially considering how often I hear "tired" thrown around within small-talk.
Don't get me wrong, there are many legitimate reasons for tiredness, and I am sure we could write a very long book containing all of the different examples of such. I absolutely do not wish to discredit those legitimate reasons--we are human beings. Our energy level is not infinite. However, I have a theory.
We aren't actually tired all of the times we say we are. I believe that "tired" is often just a mental attitude that we subconsciously mask by portraying ourselves as physically tired when faced with questions or situations that make us uncomfortable.
"Should I stay the extra twenty minutes after the event to help my friends clean-up? Nah, I'm tired. Should I sign up for that new volunteer position at church? I don't know, I've been pretty tired recently. Should I go invite that new neighbor down the street (or across the hall) to come over for dinner? Well...I don't even know what I'm going to cook tonight, besides--I'm tired. Should I offer to finish ____ chore for my spouse tonight so he/she doesn't have to worry about it? I would, but...I'm tired, too! Should I buy that homeless man a meal who just walked into the restaurant? I could, but it's been a long day and I'm pretty tired right now."
Does any of this internal conversation sound familiar to you?
There's a popular quote that says, "We don't just read God's Word. We are also read by God's Word." Profound, right? Let's jump into the Scriptures for a moment and be read by God's Word. I believe we will be able to confront our "tiredness" if we do so.
Paul writes to the Galatian church, "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
Are you tired? Is it a true, deep, rich tiredness from all of the good you are doing for others? Is it a soul-tiredness from reaping a harvest for the Lord, like the kind of ache you have after a really good and healthy exercise routine? It is also promised in this verse that we will "reap" if we follow through and don't give up.
Reap what? Reap joy. Giving of ourselves for the sake of building others up is not a burden, it is a joy. Doing something, as opposed to talking about doing something, is not a burden, it is a joy. Obeying God is not a burden, it is a joy. Let us not grow weary.
Are you this good kind of tired? Or is it just a tired attitude? Friends, let's look carefully at our own hearts and consider the source of our tiredness. God is gracious and merciful and meets our needs; however, He never promised to excuse us of doing good work with Him if we merely feel "tired." Quite the opposite, in fact.
Paul writes to the Ephesian church this little nugget of wisdom, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:10)
In other words, whatever the task that God has set before you to complete in His name is a task that He has uniquely created you, a member of the church body, to complete. We are His "workmanship," like tools in His hands. He has been preparing you to show His love in this way, and it is a matter of obedience whether or not you follow through. Notice, Paul doesn't write, "that we should talk" about the good works God has prepared for us to complete in His name. He writes, that "we should walk in them."
Here's my challenge for you. The next time someone asks you how you are doing, think about your response. Make it a truth-filled one. Then, consider how you can show Jesus' love to the person who just asked. Furthermore, pray to identify the opportunities that God may have prepared for you, and do something.
Follow through. Take the next step of obedience. Work hard alongside God. Don't settle for just "tired."
written by Chase Cotten, Media Director at IDES