We read in II Kings 13:18-19 that when Joash, the king of Israel, came to Elisha he was asked, in part, to strike the ground with some arrows. Joash did so three times, but Elisha was angry with him because he had not struck the ground five or six times. Elisha prophesied that as a result of his striking the ground only three times Joash would defeat Syria three times, but not utterly defeat them.
Though it isn't obvious that Joash did anything wrong, it is apparent Elisha detected an unwillingness on Joash's part to persist to the complete defeat of Syria. The lesson seems to be that a desire to alleviate the effects of error only to some convenient degree is not sufficient or wise. Error, false belief, must be pursued until its total nothingness is seen and demonstrated. Anything less only allows for error's resurgence, and in perhaps more virulent forms.
Even though our primary motive for prayer, study, and growth in understanding may be to mitigate mortal mind's aggressive suggestions, we must not make the mistake of easing up prematurely in our work to totally destroy error. False belief incompletely handled and annihilated may be subtly tolerated and hence nurtured. If we decide to put our hands to the plow we must resolve never to slacken our effort until the victory is complete or even indulge in a quick backward glance. Joash was apparently willing only to kick the can up the road a ways and leave it in the first drainage ditch into which it rolled inconveniently. We know where this kind of unprincipled, self-gratifying, and cowardly approach to things has gotten the U.S. politically and financially. We can't afford to indulge the same follies in our dealings with mortal mind.
It might seem naively quixotic to be pursuing the Adversary to its final destruction in an age when a dotty governor is hoping to conjure up some demented menage a trois with his Argentinian soul mate and his now inconvenient wife. That goofiness makes one look back almost fondly to those happy days when we were only asked to ponder, with a straight face, what the meaning of is is. Either we resolve to follow Christ in the Way all the way and sedulously do it, or we don't. There are no silver and bronze medals for well-intentioned lollygagging or the aimless ciliations of a paramecium. A self-indulgent fondness for human weaknesses and foibles only adds to our indebtedness to God and delays the ultimate realization of spiritual perfection.