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. (NIV)
There are times when doing good doesn’t feel so good. We seem to do the right things but get little response, little help, little encouragement. We are aware, deep down, that we don’t do good in order to receive praise and reward. However, a bit of feedback or a few results might keep us going and freshen us up a bit. This passage tells us not to give up. No good work is wasted. Every act of kindness changes something or someone in some way. We might not see the results, or we might get a different result from what we expected. But it is not as if our good works are just poured into some dark void and rendered meaningless.
God has our good works bear fruit “at the proper time”. My view of the proper time and his view don’t always coincide! I may consign myself to thinking that all the good I am doing doesn’t really amount to much. After all, what results can I see? If we adopt this attitude one of two things might happen. We might stop doing good altogether as being a bit of a waste of time and effort. Or we might go on doing good but in a bad way. We do good through gritted teeth, endlessly complaining about it. We develop a martyr complex, telling anyone who will listen that our noble efforts are not appreciated.
Better by far to simply go on doing good, trusting that God sees and knows all. We sow seeds of kindness that only later will bear fruit. We say things and do things that at the time seem trivial but in the greater schemes of God turn out to be life changing for others. Good works will always have good effects, but sometimes only in God’s good time.