“But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.” This was Paul’s encouragement to the church at Thessalonica in II Thessalonians 3:13. He said virtually the same thing to the churches of Galatia in Galatians 6:9: “And let us not grow weary while doing good…” Why would Paul, who as all the New Testament authors constantly encourage us to do what is good and right, suggest that we might possibly get tired of doing so? One would think the rewards of doing good should be limitless, and always a joy! But do these statements not appear to be a discouragement – even a contradiction? The fact that we might grow weary of doing good may seem discouraging, and yet for those who wish to serve God, it is a challenging dilemma that must be faced. There is a bizarre paradox here; but to do as Paul says, we must comprehend it.
First of all, “good” must be qualified. Proverbs 14:12 tells us, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” That should frighten us! This verse teaches us that what may seem good to me or you may actually be something very wrong! Another paradox? Not really, for once we understand that ma himself cannot define what is good, and that only God can do so, we will see the teaching of this verse. Ephesians 2:10 teaches us “good works” are that “…which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Therefore, “good” is not that which man might call good, but what God calls good.
So, why would we grow weary of doing what God wants us to? Does He want us to do things that are detrimental to us? Notice Hebrews 13:6 – it tells us that doing good can be considered a sacrifice. This would further reinforce the possibility of growing weary of doing good. There will be times when doing good may become wearisome. One cannot always equivocate doing good and doing what is easy; in fact, probably most of the time, doing good will be quite difficult! It may demand our time, material resources, or both. So naturally when we have to give up a portion of these valuable items, we might just get tired of doing so.
Then comes the clincher! On top of this is the fact that doing good does not always yield immediate results. This must probably be the most significant reason for Paul’s statements about not growing weary of doing good. Ecclesiastes 8:11 reads, “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” This verse teaches that when the evil see that their evil ways are not judged immediately, they believe they are getting away with what they do. The opposite holds true as well: that when we are not rewarded for doing good immediately, we begin to feel we never will be rewarded. We sometimes compare the prosperity of worldly people with ours, see that they are usually doing
better than we, and then wonder “where is the justice in this?” But if not careful, we could find ourselves envying the wicked – we must never do that! => Proverbs 23:17. If we are to survive the paradox of doing good, we must remember what Paul went on to say in Galatians 6:9: “…for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” We need to realize that this is God’s promise, and that we will not always reap benefits of doing
good as soon as the deed is accomplished. This is why we need patience. James 5:7-8 discusses the need for patience, and compares our wait to that of the farmer, who must plant, cultivate, then later reap the benefits of his work. We will be rewarded, as Paul says, if we do not lose heart, or grow weary. The Christian life was never promised as a continually easy one; there will be the easy times, but more often, the difficult ones. Always remember II Corinthians 4:17: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Let us not grow weary in doing good, but fulfill God’s will in our lives!