YES WE CAN, AND DO, GROW IN GOODNESS
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh (εἰς τὴν σάρκα ἑαυτοῦ) will of the flesh reap corruption (φθοράν), but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Gal 6: 7-9)
Here the word “flesh” does not mean my body. It means my lower, carnal self, in body, soul and mind. And by “lower” I mean the self, isolated from its “higher” meaning and purpose, communion with God. This “flesh” is an entirely subjective principle, or entirely our “own” soil, ultimately infertile. Because on its own, in self-seeking and self-reliance, it is blocked from the Source of Light and Life, the Holy Spirit. But He, the Holy Spirit, is objective, as Another, ever-more-powerful than ourselves, and as such He is ever-more dependable and fertile ground, in Whom and to Whom we can dependably “sow” our little efforts at “doing good,” whether for our physical, spiritual, or psychological well-being. In Him, we need not doubt that “in due season” we shall, indeed, see new life and growth, of the “everlasting” kind, “if we do not lose heart.”
So, whatever “good” I’m doing today, whether it’s cooking a healthy meal for my family or myself, or teaching a course, or reading a bit of Scripture, or going to the gym for an hour of exercise, or sitting in my cubicle at a boring job to make my (or my family's) daily bread, or making a phone-call to an elderly relative, or abstaining from unhealthy interactions and websites online, or whatever…, let me not do any of this on my own, but in and with God. “Our Father,” I say to Him today, as I open my heart to His grace, “Thy kingdom come,” and may it be my fertile ground, on this new day. Amen!