Those who genuinely “do good” will be tempted soon enough to grow weary. Give yourself to doing good for others – on God’s terms, to fulfill his calling – and eventually you will be tempted to tire.
Even the apostle Paul, with the utter clarity of his calling, testified to “fighting without and fear within” (2 Corinthians 7:5). And becoming spiritually and emotionally drained was enough of a temptation in his day that he wrote twice in his letters, “Do not grow weary in doing good” (Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13).
Weariness can be contagious (Deuteronomy 20:8). But when we fight back, it can also work the other way: to help others persevere. God means for us not only to endure in “doing good” ourselves, but to help others “not grow weary” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
When doing good gets tough – and it will – Paul does not simply say, “Don’t quit.” He says, “Do not grow weary.” What’s the difference?
How to Not Grow Weary
God does not rescue us from sin and death to then do nothing. He means for his people to give their lives, what precious little time we have, to “doing good.” “As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). That kind of doing doesn’t simply “overflow” or happen effortlessly. It takes intentionality and practice and planning. “Let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful” (Titus 3:14).
“Doing good” is not just for peaceful, convenient times in our life, but just as much for seasons of suffering and conflict. “Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19; see also 1 Peter 2:15). Are we excused from “doing good” when wronged? “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:15). How do we fight back against the darkness? “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Jesus himself champions, “I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).
The vision may be clear enough in Scripture, but how do we not grow weary in doing good when we are challenged from within and without?