Don’t Grow Weary

Sometimes I think everyone is allotted a certain amount of intangible stuff per day, and if they run out before the day is over no telling what will happen. Being an early riser and having stated at times that I might have gotten five or six hours of sleep, I’ve been asked on occasion, “Why don’t you sleep longer”? My answer has always been that when I run out of sleep I might as well get up. I used up my allotment for the day.

I include myself when noting that people at times seem to run out of just about everything at some time or other. Running out of energy is probably the most common. And we all have seen stress that can cause a normally calm, quiet person to, sort of, lose it. Then we all say, “I’ve never seen so-and-so act like that.” I once got in trouble for causally mentioning that a teacher at work got pushed too far and “lost it,” which she did. She took offense and called me on the phone and “lost it” again.

The pastor of a church we attended commented one Sunday that he got some good advice from his brother recently when confiding that he was so tired of always apologizing. I suppose that in trying to make every parishioner happy, he always took the blame for everything and apologized, probably even when it wasn’t necessary. His brother simply told him, “Keep on pedalin’.” In other words, keep on keepin’ on. Well, how do you keep on keepin’ on when you’ve used up your daily allotment of, say, patience? If you’re the pastor you can hardly punch a parishioner in the nose, or tell him/her off.  I guess you just keep on and get tired of pedalin’.

In a conversation with our youngest son Matt, he commented on the weariness that sometimes occurs in doing the right thing when some of his staff doesn’t seem to care whether they do or not. Matt is especially successful in dealing with people not only professionally, but in personal relationships as well, but in management you cannot ever “lose it.” We all have wanted to intentionally “lose it” with some intolerable people and just “tell them off,” or “straighten them out.” If we are invited to give advice or input, them we have permission to tell them the truth, if not, better to hold thy tongue.

An important concept was advanced some years ago with the introduction of the term EQ, or Emotional Quotient. This is in the category of IQ, or Intelligent Quotient, but relating to interaction rather than intelligence. A person with high EQ is emotionally mature and has developed people skills allowing for productive and successful dealing with people. It has been shown that people with high EQ are more likely to be promoted and also have greater job security. Most people don’t lose their jobs for lack of IQ, but rather for not being able to deal effectively with others, hence for having low EQ. People with low EQ “lose it” too much whereas those with high EQ, hardly ever. EQ is not dependent on education or IQ.

Perhaps another category could be designated as CQ, or Christian Quotient. Christians, I’m referring to real Christians, have an additional resource in dealing with all of life including, especially, dealing with others. Not only is a Christian expected by society at large to treat people better, but also if a Follower of Christ is authentic, they will in fact have a greater resource for doing so. And that is the living presence of Christ inhabiting their soul and spirit, sort of a CQ. Of course Christians can at times “lose it,” as explained in Paul’s instructions in Gal. 6:1ff. While encouraging doing good to all, he makes the important statement (v.9), “And let us not grow weary in doing good…”

In Hebrews 12:1-3, the author tells us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (v. 1b, 2a, 3b). We have a myriad of Biblical teaching and examples to use as guides. Not only do we have examples, but the Christian in endowed with super-natural power to accomplish that which is not accessible to the natural man. As Isaiah wrote under inspiration of God, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isa. 40:31).

It is clear that anyone, Christian or otherwise, can grow weary in doing good, especially when others take advantage of kindness or operate in the natural and want to hurt, control or in many ways manipulate others. And while a Christian with CQ can fall into that, there is a place to live where peace lives, where God can enable one to rise above the fray and “be in the world” without the world being in us. We do the right thing not because we have to, but because our heart gives us no other choice. We exercise “Christ in us, the hope of glory”(Col. 1:27). Few, if any of us, will live there always, but if I pray to, if I strive to, if I trust, I should get closer than if I don’t. In so doing perhaps in the midst we will have the “peace that passeth all understanding”(Phil. 4:7) and with the “joy of the Lord”(Neh. 8:9-12) never grow weary in doing good. God grant us the power to live “so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders” (I Thess. 4:12a).







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