Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV)
Galatians 6 puts a softball on a tee for anybody who loves a rags-to-riches or “never give up” story like I do. Let me introduce you to a struggling college student and the pianist Ignacy J. Paderewski. In 1892, an orphan student at Stanford University could not pay his board and tuition fees and decided to partner with a friend and raise money by coordinating a musical concert on campus. He was able to strike a deal with the manager of the famous pianist, Paderewski, for a guaranteed fee of $2000.
The students worked tirelessly to organize the concert and Paderewski performed as scheduled, but the total ticket collection only amounted to $1600. After the concert, they gave Paderewski the $1600 along with a promissory note of $400 with the explanation that they would earn the money and repay promptly.
Instead, the pianist forgave the IOU, telling the students to subtract the expenses borne for organizing the concert and a 10% stipend for their work, only taking the rest.
Twenty years later and now after World War 1, the famous pianist Paderewski was now the Prime Minister of Poland. His country had been ravaged by the war, with thousands of starving people and no resources to feed them. He asked for help from the US Food and Relief Administration, headed by Herbert Hoover, who later became the 31st President of the United States. Hoover responded quickly, shipping tons of food to the Polish population and helping to avert a national tragedy.
As the Polish Prime Minister thanked Herbert Hoover for the gracious act that Paderewski could not repay, Hoover stopped him and said “You shouldn’t be thanking me Mr. Prime Minister. You may not remember this, but many years ago, you helped two young students go through college in the US. I was one of them.”
What a lesson from Paul’s letter to the Galatians that teaches us if we persevere and choose to do good to all people, that we’ll reap the great reward with Jesus. Amen to that!
Questions for Reflection:
- Has the pandemic or other things in your life led to weariness? Have you let that weariness prevent you from doing good?
- How do you feel when you do good things for others? How have you experienced the payback?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for showing us the ultimate example of tirelessly loving others. Help us to put You and others before our inward-focused desires. When life goes too fast or against our wishes, we can get tired and weary and use that excuse to stop loving You and others. The ultimate reward comes with serving and loving! Amen.