Friday, November 4, 2016
During my early years in the postal service, before I committed my life to Christ, I would abuse every privilege I had. Because of it, I would perform my duties just well enough to keep from being fired, which meant that I would call in claiming sickness or an emergency situation often. Of course, in almost every case, I was lying. I do remember, however, one particular boss who approached me one day and told me something to this effect: “Joe, you’re the best worker I’ve got but I’ve noticed you miss a lot of work, and as good a worker as you are, you’re no good to me when you’re not here. I don’t want to outright call you a liar , but even if you’re as sick as you claim to be, if you can’t do your job, I’ll see that we get someone who will.” In retrospect, I think God used that man to get me to thinking that I had to change, if not for me, for the benefit of my wife and kids. Not too long after that, Christ came into my life and the man who almost got fired, the one who one postal higher up said had “the worst record in the post office” was able to become the worker I should have been all along.
Many, many years have passed since that incident and now in the many years I have been involved in the pastoral ministry, I have seen the mindset I had many years ago in the life of many Christians, including those whom the Lord has blessed with a particular ministry. I suppose that a good number of these, as I did once, may not be as sick or as hindered with a certain situation as they claim to be. Yet, even if they are, they are not rendering a complete service. As a result, those whom they minister to are losing out on the benefit. I also believe that the Lord will eventually replace anyone who shirks in his or her Christian ministerial duties.
When people truly commit their life to Christ, they immediately realize that they have to be much different than before, that others are going to call them out if their life doesn’t coincide with the message they are proclaiming. 1 Peter 3:15 reads: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” Those who give themselves completely over to Christ will attend to their duties and obligations even when they are hurting or are actually sick. This is what happens with people everywhere whose commitment to Christ is a true one. In the customary wedding vows, the man as well as the woman are called to “forsake all others” and cling only to each other. Many pastors take this vow to heart in their calling as well, which is why many of them rarely commit themselves to anything or anyone outside their churches. How is your commitment to Christ?
God’s promise for today: (Hebrews 13:16 CEB - Common English Bible) “Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have because God is pleased with these kinds of sacrifices.”