What’s Right

So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9

We live in a transactional world. We do things because we receive things.

  • We go to work, so that we earn a living
  • We loan someone money, expecting repayment and perhaps earning interest
  • As a kid, I would do chores, because I’d receive an allowance
  • We do favors, with the expectation that someday a favor may be returned (remember the phrase “I owe you one”?)

At first glance, this text from Galatians feels very transactional: “Don’t get tired of doing what’s right, for we reap…”

But I’m not at all certain that this is what Paul means in this short piece of scripture. This text is less about transaction, and is more about promise. And promises are always about grace.

“Let us not grow weary in doing what is right.” In a world full of distractions, full of conflict, full of pain and grief, doing what is right and then doing it again and again can become pretty tiring. This is true especially when it feels like the rest of the world isn’t interested in always doing “what is right.”

Lori hooked me on the TV show “This is Us.” It’s really interesting storytelling. We’ve just started season 6…so no spoilers please. 🙂 One of the characters, Randall, is a guy who is always trying to do what is right. He is always trying to live up to the legacy of his father. And when he does the right thing, he often finds himself disappointed…and exhausted. But every day, he gets up, goes to work and does the same thing again. He is relentless in his attempts to do the right thing. He is an interesting character.

And even though Randall is a fictional character, it is this kind of commitment to doing what is right that Paul writes about to the people of Galatia. Don’t get weary…don’t give up…keep on doing what is right.

And, Paul goes on to say, there will be a harvest, and we will reap the gifts that come from God. And this harvest is not dependent on our doing the right thing. Instead, we do the right thing because we know that there is a harvest, and we want to share that harvest with others.

The harvest is the constant…it is out of our control…it is grace. Our doing the right thing is the element that is variable. That is the part that we have control over. We get to choose whether to do the right thing…or not.

It can be exhausting…but it is our call. And because we are all called to the life of “doing the right thing,” we can support each other in this call.

Be God’s people. Do the right thing. And remember that God promises a harvest of love and grace for all of God’s people.

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