Brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. - 2 Thessalonians 3:13 HCSB

The father gazed at his young child with a weary expression on his face. The recalcitrant child had disobeyed once again. “How many times?” he thought to himself. “How many times have I dealt with this?”

The police officer rubbed his face in a gesture motivated as much by frustration as by fatigue. The man before him had been arrested several times for the same offense and seemed stubbornly unfazed by anything the law had to throw at his misbehavior.

The humanitarian sighed as he watched the bags of grain get tossed off the back of the truck. So many hungry people and so little food. It was like all the last month’s effort was getting used up in a matter of minutes. Half the people here would still end up starving to death. “It’s just a drop in an ocean of suffering. What good am I doing?” he groaned.

A wise man once stated, “It is not your obligation to complete the task [of perfecting the world], but neither are you free to desist [from doing all you can].”[1]

The Apostle Paul prayed that the Philippian believers’ love would keep on growing, but he qualified the nature of that growth. He did not pray that they would feel more deeply the pains of the world. He prayed that their love would grow in knowledge and discernment. He said that that was the only way they would be able to determine what really matters and be able to remain pure and blameless.[2] When facing off with spiritual and moral darkness every day, it is very easy to lose sight of the priorities and end up wallowing in either moral relativism or spiritual irrelevancies.

We need to keep in mind that Hashem will repay each of us according to our works. He will grant eternal life, glory and honor to those who patiently seek to do good. The self-seeking and disobedient will end up with wrath and indignation.[3] So when we perform mitzvahs, we are as much doing it for ourselves and our relationship with God as we are for others.

Therefore, since we have this ministry before us and have ourselves received God’s mercy, let’s not give up. Instead, let’s renounce shameful secret things and not live deceitful lives. Let’s share God’s Good News honestly by an open display of the truth.[4]

Let’s not grow tired of doing good because we will reap the benefits of our labor at the proper time if we don’t give up. Every time an opportunity to push back evil or encourage good arises, let’s do it.[5]

We needn’t do this in our own limited strength. Yahweh, who never grows faint or weary, is ready and willing to strengthen the powerless. Those who trust in Him will renew their strength. They will run and not grow weary; they will walk on and on and on – and not faint.[6]

[1] Rabbi Tarfon in Ethics of the Fathers 2:21

[2] Philippians 1:9-10

[3] Romans 2:6-8

[4] 2 Corinthians 4:1-2

[5] Galatians 6:9-10; cp Romans 12:9

[6] Isaiah 40:28-31