Jump Start # 2645
Proverbs 10:21 “The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of understanding.”
There are things in life that are hard to understand. And, with that, there are some things that people do that lack understanding. Here is a short list:
- I don’t understand how some can attend social gatherings, such as weddings, showers, cook-outs, yet they can’t come to worship.
- I don’t understand how some complain about some not having a mask in worship, but you see pictures of these same people on Facebook around others and no one is wearing a mask.
- I don’t understand how some can say that they don’t feel well enough to go to worship, but later in the same day you see them in restaurants, stores and they seem to have recovered quickly.
- I don’t understand how some who do so little can point the finger at those who do so much.
But here is what I do understand:
First, people will do what they feel like doing. They may be on death’s bed, according to them, but they’ll rally enough to go shopping, or even to work the next day. Has their health fluctuated that much? Possibly, but more likely, they do what they want to do. And, very tragically, honoring the Lord isn’t high on that list.
Second, folks are weak spiritually because they are content to be that way. It takes energy, effort, goals and determination to be strong spiritually. Any one can be strong. The Lord wants us to be strong. But many are happy to just put their big toe into the waters of Christianity and leave the rest out in the world. Church once in a while is enough, in their book. Too much and their worldly friends may notice and not like them. Too much and they probably cannot continue to watch the trashy shows on TV that they like. Too much and they would have to stop gossiping about others. No, for some, it’s not ‘gimme’ that ole’ time religion,’ but rather, just give me a tea spoon full and not too often at that.
In the world and barely in the world is not a great place to be. You don’t know enough spiritually to see the dangers that are facing you and the mistakes that you are constantly making. Your desire to be with your friends pulls you to choices that keeps you weak. Your friends would never know that you are a Christian, unless the conversation happened to turn to religion and then you try to impress them but you get things sideways, backwards and upside down, simply because you do not know. During this Covid time, the weak are prone to get so weak that nothing registers on the dial any longer. It takes effort to keep up with videos, livestream and all the powerful resources that congregations are putting out. But those who have no spiritual effort will simply shrivel up and die spiritually. And, worse of all, they won’t even miss their church family or worshipping with the Lord. They have replaced Sunday morning with sleeping in, meeting friends and it doesn’t even cross their minds about the Lord. So sad.
Third, it is amazing to me that those who are connected to the Lord will care more, pray more and be concerned more about the souls of these weak members than they are themselves. They don’t think about their souls. That is why they are weak. Others are worried. Others are trying to connect. Others are praying for them. And, those who are being prayed about, go about their day, happily as if they don’t have a care in the world. What a strange twist that others can care about a person’s soul more than that person does.
Fourth, when tragedy strikes, that weak person will reach out to someone in the church. They’ll want the preacher to come and do a funeral, and by all means talk about how their uninterested family member is now in Heaven with the Lord. They’ll want the church to pray for an upcoming surgery, even though they have never prayed for anyone themselves. They will want answers to fix a rebellious teen, even though they have kept that teen from the Lord for a long time. When their marriage falls apart, they will want assurance from the shepherds that they can marry another person. They usually do. And, much too often, it is to someone who has no spiritual interest or understanding what’s so ever.
Finally, so why are weak members weak? I don’t have all the answers and there may be several factors, but somewhere in this they have just enough to convince them that they will escape Hell. Rather than loving the Lord for all that He is and richly enjoying the spiritual blessings that abound all the time, their very little experience has convinced them that it’s enough to get them into Heaven. They do not even understand what Heaven is like. For so many, it’s roller coasters, chocolate fountains, kittens and puppy dogs, and having fun every day. And, if you were to ask them where they got this idea from, their shallow answer would be either TV or their friends. It certainly doesn’t come from the Bible. Just enough to get by. Just enough to pass. They’ve spent a lifetime talking their way out of tickets, being late to work, hiding behind this excuse, pointing the finger of blame on that person, that somehow they’ll talk their way into Heaven. They may believe that. They may boast about that. But, they will be shocked and surprised when they face the Lord.
Putting God first in our lives changes the order of things. It puts the spiritual at the top of the list. Seeking God brings out the best in us and being strong spiritually gives us hope, confidence and the right character in life.
Some things are just hard to understand…