Light and Loveliness

Reflections of Emily Sue Allen

Life & Faith / Motherhood

Do Good


“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.” Galatians 6:9

This verse is on my mind this morning. My whole fam has been under the weather, myself included, and for the past six days I’ve pretty much been living in my pajamas, doing as little as possible aside from making meals and keeping up with the main areas of the house…and even those things are happening at about half-speed. I’ve made peace with our limitations even though we have missed a lot of fun things over the past few days, but I’m determined to re-gain some focus today, starting with this little verse. Let’s take a look at what it does and what it doesn’t say.

What it DOES say:

Let us not become weary in doing good. What does it mean to be weary? One definition is to be mentally or physically exhausted from hard work, but did you know that another definition is to become impatient or dissatisfied with something? Ding, ding, ding. How many other people will admit to staring at a pile of laundry or a sink full of dishes and think of all the other things you’d rather be doing? How many mamas will admit to being impatient with their kids again and again in the course of a day? I don’t know about you, but both of these things ring true for me more often that I care to admit. I totally need Jesus every day, every hour, to renew my heart and mind. I don’t think God expects us to never be tired from the work that He asks us to do inside the home (or out of it!), but I do think He wants to caution us against the impatience and dissatisfaction that can stand between us and doing the good we really want to do for our families.

What it DOES NOT say:

Let us not become weary in doing everything. Anyone on the hamster wheel? Racing, juggling, piling more and more onto an already full plate. Trying to keep up with everything that everyone else expects of you? Almost every mama I know feels pulled in 100 different directions, spread thin, and honestly exhausted by the end (or the middle! or the beginning!) of the day. I just have to point out that this verse encourages us not to become weary in doing good, but it doesn’t say we have to do everything. I keep coming around to this idea that simple is always better when it comes to structuring our days at home. I would rather have a few (or even many) household tasks left undone with room in the day for quality time with my kids.

What it DOES say:

At the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Keep going, mamas! I know how hard it is to get through a day with your sanity. I’m right there. But just like a farmer doesn’t know what kind of crop yield he will have at the end of a season, we can’t see right now what our efforts will produce later. I have experienced both sowing and reaping seasons in my life, and from experience I will say, digging in and doing the work that God puts before you will bring beautiful, meaningful things out of the messy, muddy dirt.

What it DOES NOT say:

 At the time we so desire, we will feel successful at our jobs. Most moms I know could talk all day about how overwhelmed they feel by the many things they juggle. Not many of us go to bed at night feeling satisfied with all we accomplished throughout the day. Just because we do not feel successful does not mean that we haven’t gained ground in one or more areas. It is the sum of many thousands of simple, faithful tasks, and small, meaningful acts of kindness toward our families that build strong healthy homes and happy, whole children.

What it DOES say:

As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people. As we have opportunity. Recognizing opportunities is not something everyone is good at. If we are frazzled, distracted by facebook or relationship dramas, or even slaying our to-do list with ferocious prowess, we might miss the opportunities around us to speak into a child’s heart at an opportune moment, opportunities to bring encouragement to a discouraged friend, or opportunities to help a neighbor with a task. And if I’m honest about how this little line is hitting my heart, I’m feeling a tug to ‘do good to all the people in my house‘….by offering grace, patience, tenderness, and kindness to each one of them, especially the ones that push my buttons and work against all my efforts at a clean and orderly home. Not naming names.

What it DOES NOT say:

Let us act like we are good and stop there. How many people who profess faith spend more time managing the outward appearance of their ‘goodness’ but don’t do anything to serve or encourage others…something that transforms our hearts from within? It’s a bit of a tough question, because I’m guilty too. I have always been what some would describe as a ‘good girl’, if we are talking about the outward things I have and haven’t done in my life. But truthfully, I’m a sinner, and I will be the first to say that any good in me is because of Jesus. I think it is important to highlight that this verse doesn’t tell us to BE good. It tells us to DO good. Get up. Take action. Do stuff that blesses others. That is how the world will know who Jesus is.

“By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:35

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