A lady called our church not long ago. She wondered if we could help her out with something. So I asked what was the matter and what service could we be? She told me she hadn’t been able to enjoy thanksgiving and christmas last year and it looked like this year she would eat no turkey and have no gifts under the tree again. She wanted money to solve these problems. So after a little probing she began to reveal why she was really in a financial fix so I told her in essence what Peter and John told the beggar at the Temple in Acts 3, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee. . .” I explained to her that in her state if I simply put a bandaid on a gaping wound it wouldn’t really heal, she needed something better than money, she needed the Lord and she needed to start following biblical principles of good hard work rather than the opposite. When I offered to help her in these ways and also to locate a job to truly remedy her problem she told me something I’ve heard before but jarred me a little and made me think immediately of something God has said. She said she was was told she couldn’t do any work due to health issues.
By now you’re probably thinking this lady was just scamming our church. And her comments to me confirmed this. But God reminded me of a Scripture Paul wrote in 2 Thess.3:10, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” ! Many churchgoers might find that harsh if they didnt know it to be Scripture but in fact it is the exact opposite of harsh. It’s God’s “tough love”, if you will. How is it that we go about helping others? Do we maybe do too much and thus prevent them from experiencing what God wants them to experience? How about as a parent, doing a bit too much and not allowing your child to grow and thrive as they learn to exert the effort God wants them to do?
As I came to quickly see, this woman was hiding behind “health issues” so as not to do something God wants for her to do and experience. The fulfillment of an honest’s days work, the blessing of being able to share with others the fruits of your labor rather than trying to connive and take from others, the contentment of seeing God provide through our honest efforts rather than succumb to scheming and manipulating others and being unable to “look yourself in the mirror” ! As I thought some later on what she said about being told she couldn’t work I began to think then the verse I cited then would need to be ripped out of our Bibles ! And today, being Veteran’s Day, aren’t you glad those men and women who served our country didn’t resort to excuses ? We enjoy the fruit of their labor with the freedoms they helped to secure and preserve !
So, too, when you serve the Lord you help perpetuate the faith and build up your church for others as well. Don’t settle for calling for someone else to do something (as she did) when you can do it for the Lord ! Don’t say “somebody” should do this or that, when you’re able. Don’t wait on others to serve you, you be a blessing and serve them – that’ll make you a noble veteran in the Lord’s army !