Do Not Lose Heart
By Dr. Bill Mankin
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, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Gal. 6:9-10, NIV)
When our children were small, the answer to the question,
“Why haven’t you…
…picked up your toys?
…brushed your teeth?
…fed the cat?”
was often either, “I meant to!” or “I was just gonna’.” As if good intentions combined with procrastination was a good excuse for any failure to accomplish what was needed. But children are not the only ones for whom procrastination gets in the way of our good intentions. Perhaps the priest and Levite in the story of the Good Samaritan also intended to come back and help the poor beaten man when they had gotten their urgent errand out of the way. We as adults often have that problem. We want to do the right thing in the abstract, but in the concrete moment, we are much too busy with urgent things that just have to be done. I confess that procrastination rather than overload is more often the cause of my failure to fulfill my good intentions.
Paul urged his readers in Galatia not to give up on their good intentions. Whenever we have the opportunity, do good! That’s what Paul says. Don’t just intend, do good! We are too busy, we are too tired, there are other things that are more urgent at the moment (even if less important), there will be more resources later, this opportunity to do good doesn’t match my gifts—the list of excuses is endless.
I don’t have what it takes to solve all the problems of the world, but God doesn’t expect that of me. God just asks that when I have the opportunity, I do good to all. The opportunities come from God; the response comes from me.
When we stand before our Maker, will we have a better answer than “I meant to!” or “I was gonna’”? Or will we be able to say that we did good whenever God gave us the opportunity and hear our Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Prayer: God who never grows weary of doing good things for us, help us to recognize the opportunities for doing good that you place before us, and give us through your Holy Spirit the dedication, the commitment, and the fortitude to do good to all persons. We ask in the name of your Son who gave all. Amen.
Ministry and Mission Coach