PEOPLE serve the Lord wholeheartedly, until they are hurt, then they redeem those works as their own.
I’ve seen this time and again in the church. It is too easy to say that these people never did their works for the Lord in the first place, but that doesn’t cater for the human element in following God. Let’s empathise.
Let’s unpack what I’ve said:
People serve the Lord wholeheartedly… They do. Few people sowing deeply into the work of God do so for selfish motives. People who are committed to Christ’s church do their works as faithfully as any human being can.
… until they are hurt… Something happens. Something they could not have predicted. Like the extinction of the dinosaurs, what was significant vanishes as if it had never been there. Something’s happened. A significant wound has been received. None of us are beyond being hurt to such an extent we might leave our church, or the faith for that matter. Think about it. We are all vulnerable. There is a thing, indeed several things, that could happen that would turn our lives upside down. How we respond at these times is the true test of our godly character. But there are times when something wounds us mortally, and we may reel in such shock that to come back is a chastening, harrowing test.
… then they redeem those works as their own… they pick up what they did, what they started, and they take those things with them, as if they were done for themselves.
It happens time and again.
It is rare, very rare indeed, that people have the character to consider their trials pure joy (James 1:2-4). This is why it is so important to read and study our Bibles — to become more and more like Christ. It is our only chance to protect ourselves against the kind of hurt that says, Goodbye!
If we are interested at all in the Kingdom we will, in these secular days, develop a compassionate passion for the dechurched — for their hurt. And yet many, too, who are unchurched may also come into the church for a time and expect secular standards of performance and morality. It is sad to say they may be disappointed. In this modern day I have seen it first hand; the church in many cases is being left behind in both performance and morality. The schemes of man are ever at the forefront in the dominion of God. And the secular world has embraced the systems approach to managing care, and care is done for efficiency gains, if for nothing else.
In the church we must always cater for the human factor, recognising we are all sinners saved by grace, not from sin, but from being condemned for sin.