Read: Jeremiah 26:1-27:22, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18, Psalm 85:1-13, Proverbs 25:16
As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. 2Thessalonians 3:13
Relate: What is perseverance? Some say its a habit. Its the habit of getting up in the morning when you’d rather hit the snooze button. Its the habit of doing that extra pushup, taking that extra step, and running one more check. Its the habit of going a little further, of not stopping until you know that you are done… and then doing a little more just in case.
Some say it is a personality trait. Whether through nature or nurture, perseverance is a temperament that some people have. They are the type of people that just cannot quit. They don’t know the meaning of the word. Maybe its perfectionism that wants to make sure everything is just right, maybe its competitiveness that pushes them to do more than the next guy. Whatever it is, its part of their personal DNA to just keep going.
Some say perseverance is a choice. Every step I take I can chose to make my last one. Or I can go one more. I can punch out when the clock says I’m done, or I can punch out when the task says I’m done. I can turn around and start going back at any time… or I can push forward until I’ve reached the top of the hill. Then, maybe, there will be another hill I can push towards after that. Its my choice.
Some say perseverance is focus. My sights are so narrowly set on my goal that stopping is not an option. Distractions are for lesser people, I don’t have time for them because my mind is set on the task before me. Perseverance is a matter of a disciplined mind and by pushing through, I prove that mine is worthy.
React: Maybe those people are right. Maybe not. But I say that, at least in the context Paul uses here, perseverance is a matter of love. I think it is possible to be tired of doing good but still, for a time, to continue to do it. I’m pushing through the action but my heart is not in it. That’s not biblical perseverance. Perseverance means that I will continue on because I have the longing, the desire, the love to do so. I will forgive one more time because I long to see the person who wronged me reconciled to God. I will serve one more time because I desire to bless them just as God has blessed me. I will pray for a few more minutes because nothing… nothing, is as great as spending time with the one I love. Perseverance comes because I love the thing, or the goal, or the person, or the God I’m striving for far more than I love myself.
God, I love You. Help me to love You more. Help me not to do the good things I do so that I might be seen, or even because its the right thing to do. Help me to persevere in doing good because I love You. Help me to follow Your example as the One who walked up the hill, carried the burden, and then stayed… until it was finished.