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Don’t Throw in the Towel

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  Galatians 6:9 (KJV)

“Don’t throw in the towel” derives from the world of boxing.  When a boxer is suffering a beating and his corner want to stop the fight, they literally throw in the towel to indicate their conceding of the fight.  In today’s passage the Bible encourages us not to ‘throw in the towel’!

Let’s take time to read this verse in few translations and allow it to sink in.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.  At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.  Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.  Galatians 6:9 (NASB)

And let us not lost heart and grow weary and faint in action nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.  Galatians 6:9 (AMP)

And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.  Galatians 6:9 (TLB)

So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good.  At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.  Galatians 6:9 (MSG)

Growing weary in doing good is an ever-present danger in the Christian life.  Paul, perhaps better than anyone else, knew how wearying the spiritual battle can be and the dangers we face.  However, at the end of his ministry he was able to declare that he had finished his course.  The only way to finish our course is to avoid becoming weary in well-doing.  The Greek word for “weary” is ekkakeo which means ‘to lose heart, to be wearied out, exhausted’.  It’s the same word Jesus used in Luke 18:1:

And He spake a parable unto them to his end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.  Luke 18:1 (KJV)

Ekkakeo can mean to lose our motivations in continuing a particular activity and so to become discouraged and give up, the opposite of being “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord”.

In the words of Hebrews 12 may we be encouraged to…

…run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIVUK)