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Never Grow Tired of Doing 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” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
When I think of “doing good” I often think of John Wesley. One of John Wesley’s most famous quotes was, “Never grow tired of doing good.” I thought of Wesley and his quote as I was reading Galatians 6. This was not a catchy marketing campaign. This was part of his core beliefs which mirrors closely with Paul’s Epistle to the early church in Galatia (Galatians 6:9).
Wesley believed that upon the death of our earthly bodies we will be questioned by angels, “What did you do for others?” (Deuteronomy 15:11, Hebrews 13:16, Galatians 6:2). Did you care about the poor and rejected? (Ephesians 4:28, Leviticus 25:35, Proverbs 19:17). Wesley knew that faith without
works is dead (James 2:17). He also understood that we are saved by God’s grace and not our works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Works are a natural product of our faith and not a means to gain God’s favor.
Clearly, Wesley believed in doing good. It is believed that he traveled over 650,000 miles to preach his Holy message: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can.” This belief transcends the Methodist church and is a key tenant of the Church Universal. There are so many ways to please God, but the Wesleyan theology believed that the best means to do so was to be merciful and kind and always be compassionate to those who need compassion.
Thomas Aquinas, an immensely influential Catholic priest, philosopher, and theologian, was once asked, “What actions of ours best show our love for God?” He answered, “They are the works of mercy toward our neighbor, even more than our acts of worship.” He further explained, “Hence mercy, whereby we supply other’s needs, is a sacrifice more acceptable to God than many prayers and even Sunday worship.” I think Wesley and most modern-day Christians would agree with this sentiment.
As I re-read the Synoptic Gospels with an eye on works of mercy, I am drawn to two parables and a lesson on adultery. In Luke 15, our Father shows great compassion to the Prodigal Son. This parable shows the unconditional love of our Lord. John 8 contains the story of the woman accused of adultery. Jesus offers grace and not judgment. Jesus tells us the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 to remind us of His desire for us to show kindness to our neighbor. There are many other examples in the Bible of God showing mercy, encouraging us to visit Him in prison, and asking for us to help those in need of help.
We all need the mercy and love of God. As we move close to Him and progress in our sanctification, we begin to desire the things that He does.
Prayer: Dear God, Help us to love you with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. And help us to love our neighbor as our self.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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