Don’t read this blog… Unless you’re ready to seriously interrupt your day; your life.
I’m currently in rural Nebraska attending an annual meeting of our two state convention’s denomination. These are all really good people (except that one guy, but that’s another story), everybody loves the Lord and makes a real effort to get along.
But, by the very nature of this meeting, between the sermons, the praying and the singing they try to conduct some business and take a few votes (by the way, worship and voting should not exist in the same sentence, but that’s another blog).
Last night at our first gathering, there was some tension. Not too bad, handled well and Godly, but it reminded me of my days pastoring in Texas where professional ministers in freshly pressed suits and coiffed hair tore each other apart with words like ‘brother’ and ‘ fellowship’ sprinkled in their tirade.
Honestly, I have always been bothered by disunity in the body and the way we handle our disagreements. But, what’s bothered me the most are the subjects of our feuding.
The things that we scrap over are almost never a big deal! A percentage of this, the wording for that, picking who is in charge of what. Most of the time these things fall into the category of “stupid junk,” it’s a file in my lower right desk drawer at work.
I think we have misinterpreted some Scripture here. I know God’s eye is on the sparrow, and I know He knows the number of hairs on each of our heads (which, again, is not that big of a deal in my case), but I think we have taken verses like that to mean that God wants us to fixate on the details.
So we fight, we gossip, we scrap, we dwell and simmer, but all the while we make a huge mistake. If God does want us involved in the details, it’s certainly not at the expense of the big picture!
While we debate which department gets what percentage of the mission money, thousands of children die everyday of preventable starvation.
While we argue about whose going to be in charge of the facilities committee, unwed mothers are crying themselves to sleep because of loneliness and exhaustion.
While we draw lines between us and others based on point A (a minutiae of Scripture) and point B (a personal worship preference), marriages are dissolving, addictions are engulfing and brokenness is winning.
We fight over the details so much that we miss the big picture, and we get so bogged down in the unimportant that the most important just… never… happens.
Truly, the devil is in the details.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying we should forget everything and just focus on the preaching. Sure, the teaching and preaching of the name of Jesus is massively important.
Of course I believe that, I am a preacher.
But, Jesus and the Bible are clear, we are to not only preach the Good News but BE the Good News:
James 1:22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 2: 14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Matthew 25: 37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’41″Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
We are not a people of ‘know’, we are a people of ‘do’!
Romans chapter 10 says, “14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent?”
Based on the context of the whole of Scripture, I think there is an easy application…
Even if Jesus is preached, how can they hear when their stomach growls so loudly?
How can they understand when their head is swimming from the divorce papers that were just served?
Why would they care when the churches keep building more buildings while their home is being foreclosed?
It’s time we quit focusing on the details and leave the devil to the stupid stuff. We need to back up, see the big picture and then run to the real battle… today.
Make a decision and do something right now.
Today… Go to your church and volunteer for that ministry they’ve been begging for help with over the last few months.
Today… Go online and adopt a child through www.compassion.com and change a life forever.
Today… Go to that neighbor who needs a yard raked, a bag of groceries dropped off, or desperately yearns for a listening ear.
Today… Write the check for your church’s benevolence ministry (the grocery buying, light bill paying, rent meeting, gas tank filling fund at your church).
If you amen-ed this article anywhere, but don’t change your day to do something because you’re too busy, too poor, too unmotivated, there is problem.
There is a word for those who believe something, talk a good talk about it, but do nothing… and it’s not ‘politician.’
Don’t get drug down by the details. Be in the big picture. Today.