"Ye take too much upon you." These words were hurled at Moses and Aaron by Korah and those who stood with him (Exo. 16). This thought was the springboard for the things faithful preachers confront today when they preach the truth, without addition or subtraction. Some people accuse brethren of taking too much authority and, on occasions, this could be so. We need to be careful and not give others this impression. On the other hand, things must be done and someone must do the work, if such things are accomplished. The love for brethren and the spirit of Christ should govern our views in such matters and eliminate any possible ill will. However, while some might feel that some brethren take too much upon themselves, there are others who could care less. As long as they do not have to do the work, they are not overly concerned with what is done or who does it. This is a poor attitude and it exists too often. God's people should always want to be involved in the most glorious work available to men. Indifference can be tragic and will defeat most any project. The news media often speaks of crimes committed and people victimized because others did not want to become involved. This spirit can prevail within congregations and it certainly can be detrimental to what the Lord desires.
What Accounts For Brethren Failing To Be Involved In The Lord's Work?
Lack Of Faith. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:17). God's Word would have us to appreciate His work and be involved in it. Participants are what the Lord desires rather than spectators. When we really believe in God and what He would have us to be and do, there is no problem in being involved. Men deny this and accredit other sources for their behavior, but the lack of faith is the core of their problems. There is no sin more devastating than the sin of unbelief. Faith overcomes! "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh he world, even our faith"(1 Jno. 5:4). As our faith increases, our involvement in the work of the Lord will not fail, but be more active. It would appear that the brethren at Thessalonica were involved as they should be. Paul wrote of them: "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope to our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father" (1 Thes. 1:3).
Feeling Unimportant: -- To an extent, every member is important in the Lord's design for His church. Abilities may vary with individuals, but there is need for every member. We have no right to feel that we have no importance. There are things that one individual can do that others do not possess the ability to perform. The parable of the talents conveys that thought. The one talent man was condemned for not using his ability or for not becoming involved. What about Rom. 12:4,5? "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." Truly we are members one of another in the respected congregations and we need to be involved in the work of glory.
Fear: -- There are those who are evidently afraid to participate or really be involved. When the one talent man was called to answer for his failure, he admitted, "I was afraid" (Matt. 25:25). In Revelation, John speaks of those who will not overcome and inherit all things. He heads the list by saying: "But the fearful... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Rev. 21:8). Fear of responsibility and fear of failure can certainly affect involvement, but fear of God should cause us to defeat some fears and do what is expected of us. We readily acknowledge that different definitions of fear exist, but Solomon wrote: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Eccl. 12:13).
Resentment: -- Though it is childish and very contrary to the Spirit of Christ, brethren, in their resentment of other brethren, have been known to deny involvement. "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love: in honor preferring one another" (Rom. 12:10). With pure hearts and practicing what we preach, there is no place for our failing to be involved. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might" (Eccl. 9:10). Indifference and lack of zeal are certainly condemned in the Scriptures and will keep us out of heaven.
By Bobby K. Thompson in Truth Magazine, Vol. 52, No. 5, May, 2008.
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