To Where Do You Run?

The recent Hebrew University-sponsored poll of Palestinian views that showed an increased support for violence and the Hamas terrorist group bodes very ill for peace in the region. Incredibly, it comes after a conflict in which Israel made efforts to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza yet managed to strike some nasty blows on Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure.

But Hamas’ internal PR did a wickedly impressive job of portraying themselves as the winners in the fight with Israel, and it’s being eaten more and more up by a culture that lacks faith in peaceful negotiations. The tragedy of violence breeding violence is nothing new. It’s made all the worse when leaders in a culture portray violence as laudable or even holy. The reality is most people don’t rush to do violence, but the ones that do stand out infamously. Yet the other side of the running coin is equally noteworthy.

The Scriptures speak of how G-d despises those that run to do wickedness or violence. It’s something they actually make extra effort to do. Hamas is a good example. While others uphold peacemakers, they repeatedly denounce the process of negotiations. While others seek to better their society, they are putting their own people at risk with weapons storehouses in civilian areas—including under a mosque.

In other words, violence and conflict come easy for them and are given a position of importance in their culture. When Israel reaches compromise with them after a conflict, particularly when Israel seeks not to unnecessarily harm the civilian world in Gaza during the fight, the violence leaders claim their way is successful. Israel still should make those efforts, but the leadership of Hamas should be condemned.

By way of contrast, have you ever known someone who seemed to always be looking out for something good to do?

Maybe that person always had guests over at their home in generous displays of hospitality, or maybe they buy brand viagra 100mg were always volunteering or looking for worthy causes.

Perhaps they were studious in learning about Scripture or eager to pray. While even some great things can be done out of proportion in the wrong priority at the expense of people close to us, nonetheless, it’s the ones that are practically running to do real good that leave us inspired.

Abraham was such a person. When three mysterious characters arrive at his tent one hot day, he dashes to and fro—first to offer his hospitality, then to exceed their expectations with an impressive meal. In Jewish teachings, Abraham is legendary in his hospitality. It’s one of the hallmarks he was known for. And for good reason: He literally ran to do it.

What do you run to do? Do you run at all? Or are you content to be mediocre—or worse, are you content to merely look like you’re busy doing good while in truth you’re slacking in all the wrong places?

Or are you actively keeping an eye out for good deeds? Do you donate to help feed the poor? Do you set aside time for Scripture study and prayer on a daily basis?

Do you jump at chances to help others who need a house painted or wood chopped? Do you graciously step in to do the dishes at home? Do you go out of your way to give people a ride in your car?

And if you do these things, do you do them intentionally, with gusto and a desire to do it well? Or do you merely accept tasks you grumpily complete too little, too late?

If you don’t already, start running to do what’s right. If you are, keep up the good work. Life is a marathon, and you can be running backwards, standing still or racing towards the finish line. Don’t crawl through life—run to do what’s good.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, December 30, 2012)