Jump Start # 3187
Titus 3:14 “And let our people also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, that they may not be unfruitful.”
Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin has an enrollment of 1,500 students. Of that number, 52% of the student body has signed up to take one particular class. It’s the most popular class in the school’s history. The class is entitled, “Do nothing.” More than half of the university wants to learn how to “Do Nothing.”
There are so many layers of questions and concerns that comes to my mind. How can there be homework in a class called, “Do nothing?” Is it possible to flunk “Do nothing?” How does one teach, “Do nothing?” It seems that if there was one thing our culture understand perfectly, it is how to do nothing. A parent walks in a room and his teens are glued to their phones. Dad says, “What’s going on?” You know the answer, “Nothin’.”Why is a university teaching young people how to do nothing? Maybe they ought to teach them how to excel. Maybe they ought to teach them how to achieve. Do nothing leads to indifference and laziness.
The one talent man in Matthew 25 did just that, nothing. He buried his talent in the ground. The master called him wicked, lazy and worthless. What he had was taken from him. He was cast into the outer darkness of punishment.
In our passage today, the apostle tells the Titus, “let our people also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs.” Doing nothing isn’t in the vocabulary of a disciple of Jesus. We need to be busy busting it for the kingdom. Hard working preachers, busy in the church shepherds, diligent deacons, Bible class teachers who are going out of their way, members who are engaged in serving others—that’s the heart of our fellowship and what makes our connections so powerful.
Engaging in good deeds is something that we need to learn. This is something that needs to be taught. We need to be studying how to do good deeds not how to do nothing. It’s easy to do nothing. Nothing is required to do nothing. But to do good deeds you have to think of others. You have to make plans and find ways to lift the burdens of others.
Here are some thoughts:
First, as disciples of Jesus, doing nothing ought never be said of us. We don’t all preach nor need to preach. We can’t all shepherd. We are all public teachers. But there are many other wonderful and powerful things that can be done. Taking food, giving rides, calling, texting, writing others, being a fresh air of encouragement to others—these are the things that truly make a difference.
In the hymn, “I gave My life for thee,” the chorus pointedly asks, “What hast thou giv’n for Me?” And, how would we answer that question? “Nothing.” Have we done any more than just show up for worship? Our people must learn to engage in good deeds. Get busy. Find your talent.
Second, it seems that everyone is afraid of the younger generation and they are catering to their selfish ways. Rather than do nothing, I think of the woman who anointed Jesus and the Lord said, “She has done what she could.” Doing what you can do, would be a much better class to offer. Do nothing will not help society. Do nothing will not make families stronger. Do nothing won’t build business. Do nothing is the death of a church. Won’t anyone stand up and scream, “Enough!” Won’t anyone be brave enough to say, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” Won’t anyone declare, when you come into this congregation, here is what is expected of you? A culture of do nothing Christians leads to indifference in the Lord.
Third, how can we as disciples do nothing when we look to our Savior who did so much. But there are some things that Jesus won’t do. You have to do them. Jesus won’t give you faith. He will give you the reasons to believe, but belief is something that comes from us. Jesus won’t live your life for you. You have to make the choices that reflect faith in the Lord. Jesus shows us why we ought to follow Him. He shows us the consequences if we don’t follow Him. But, in the end, each of us must decide that for ourselves. Jesus won’t pick you up out of bed on Sunday morning and carry you down to the church house. You have to do that. Jesus won’t make you worship. You have to do that.
Have you ever noticed that in the Gospels you never find a verse that reads, “Today, Jesus did nothing.” On this day, Jesus took the day off, and nothing was accomplished. Nope. You won’t find anything like that. Always teaching. Always on the move. Always helping. Always being the Savior. Always.
And, as His people, we must work until He stops us. If you want to retire from your secular job, great. Don’t even think about retiring from what you can do in the kingdom. Maybe time and age keeps you from doing some things, but there is always something you can do for the Lord. Always.
A class on Do Nothing. Next there will be a college degree in “Doing Nothing.” The times we live in sure are messed up. Come, Lord Jesus!