Remember why you labor
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
There are many reasons people become weary of the harvest field, like anger at God or people, disappointment when results aren’t what they expected or take too long, frustration from self-reliance, resentment over lack of recognition, grief or exhaustion from unrelated personal life events—to name a few. That weariness can drive people to give up on discipling, whether they quietly disappear or exit decisively (or even explosively).
There will probably be a time when you tire of discipling others, and your patience might wear thin. When you reach that point, it can be tempting to just walk away entirely from teaching and helping people. Sometimes it’s hard to read Galatians 6:9 and believe it’s possible you’ll ever actually reap any good results, when all you’ve seen is anything but good come from your efforts.
Sometimes you’d rather rip out your own hair than keep trying to love others, wouldn’t you?
We humans are so weak and simple sometimes. So much so that the only reason we have the capacity to love God is because He first loved us (1 Jn. 4:19).
He loved you, in all your worst moments and biggest rebellion and greatest regrets. He reached out for you to draw you to Himself and loved you so much that He gave Jesus to redeem you and bring you into His heavenly home. He waits to gather you to live forever with Him in the splendor of heaven, with your name inscribed in His Book of Life. The cross of Jesus Christ brings together the sin and the messiness of humanity with the grace and the power of heaven and reconciles them.
Take a moment to think about that love, that grace, and that incredible favor and blessing, which you have done nothing to earn. God Himself just wanted you that much, despite all your sin, and despite all your messy mistakes and debts.
Now think about this: God wants every other person to know Him and to give that same grace to them. He wants to give them just as much as He gave to you.
If you’re feeling “just done” with others’ sins, absurdities, and struggles, ask yourself: what is your belief about the grace you have received, and what do you pass on to others? Do you trust that grace that changed intractable problems in your life to also transform the intractable problems in the lives of those around you?
Don’t lose heart—don’t grow weary of doing good! God is still at work around you and through you, and His knowledge and patience are perfect.
“With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Pt. 3:8-9)
How can you begin today?
Pray for courage and strength to trust God’s timing for His Holy Spirit’s work.
Seek God and spend time with Him personally, growing in your own relationship with Him. You can’t pour water from an empty vessel; your discipleship should be a result of time spent with God.
Change your focus from the results you want to searching for what God might be doing, and see if there’s anywhere you might have missed that you can join in His work.