“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Explanation and Commentary on Galatians 6:9
In this section of the Book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul is writing about doing good to others, especially those of the family of God. He lays out the principle of sowing and reaping, using the imagery of agriculture to teach his point. No farmer expects a harvest if he has not planted at the proper time.
Paul also makes the point that the principle works just as well for evil. We reap whatever we sow. If we sow into the flesh, gratifying sinful desires and working evil in the world, it will come back to us, in this life and the next.
God promises blessings to his people and one of his favorite ways to bless his children is through the hands of his other children. Jesus said, “I will build my church” (Mat 16:18), because he never meant for us to be alone except in the rarest of cases. He has made us for fellowship and relationship. To be part of the family of God is to be called by God to use one’s gifts to lift up others and be a blessing, doing good and reaping a harvest if we do not give up.
Interpretation of the Key Parts of Galatians 6:9
#1 “Let us…”
Paul includes himself in the admonishment. Ministers are part of the sheep of God’s pasture. Even the ones called to full-time ministry can grow weary of the work if they lose sight of the harvest and the One who called them.
#2 “…not become weary in doing good,”
The Christian is called to “do good.” This defines a broad range of service in the church and the world. Anything that builds up, furthers the mission, expands the Kingdom, and blesses the church and the world is “doing good.” We can get weary if we forget why we are doing it, or if our motives become false. Paul encourages us on this point.
#3 “for at the proper time…”
If it seems like all your work is thankless, wait for the proper time. At the very latest, we have the words, “Well done good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:21) to look forward to at the end of all days.
#4 “we will reap a harvest…”
Christians are called to bear fruit (John 15; Gal 5: Mk 4:1-20). This can be spiritual fruit or evangelistic fruit. The promise here is that there will be a time when any effort of doing good will produce a visible result that will be experienced by the sower. This will generally happen multiple times throughout a life if one faithfully and consistently sows good.
#5 “if we do not give up…”
It is truly sad when one who began well doesn’t finish the race because the trial caused them to “give up.” If we spend 99% of our lives “doing good” but give up at the end in discouragement or moral failure, it will all be for nothing, and we will not experience the promised harvest.
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Biblical Translations of Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
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