Thursday, June 20, 2024

"It's Not Us In Here, It's Them Out There"

Human nature is a pesky thing. The natural tendency that man has is to always look at the problems of our society or his own personal ones and point his finger at someone else. Even within our own circles of influence, our home, our friends, our workplaces, that urge to play the blame game does not change. This tendency to blame others began at the dawn of human history. Remember what Adam said to God when He came looking for him and Eve after they had sinned: "the woman you gave me," you remember the rest. And I'm sure that you have witnessed little children time and time again blaming their siblings or their little friends for what they themselves did wrong.

It is bad enough when the blame game takes place within the context of matters that are inconsequential, such as friends blaming each other for losing a game, for example. However, the biggest problem comes when we in the church continue to act as though we never do anything wrong. Take for example one of the issues that we pastors "harp" about the most: attendance at the services of the church. One statistic says that approximately 25% of members within a particular church are absent on any given Sunday. Yet, when the pastor mentions that appalling tendency, what do the members of the church do? They immediately start thinking about those other members who may have been absent on one of those particular days when they happen to be present. 

Many are the members who are serial absentees. In other words, they are absent from the meetings of the church on a regular basis. Some folks are probably out half the time and some even more. Unfortunately, those people who are the worst offenders are the ones who are the most oblivious to their own fault. "So and so's ears must be burning because the preacher is talking about those who are absent" they probably think. All the while, they have been absent (for no good reason) four out of the last five weeks and they seem to give nary a thought to that reality.

There are many others who, although fairly faithful in their attendance, do little more than warm the pew on a weekly basis. Other than that, they do practically nothing for the church. They involve themselves to no appreciable degree, they fellowship once a year if that, and they do not use their gifts for the benefit of their brethren. Do we not remember that the Lord gave us resources to occupy until He comes? If we do not use what we have been given, then those resources will be taken away.

We have often heard from the pulpit that we must seek out what our talents (gifts) are and use them to the benefit of the body and to the glory of God. At the very least, we are to seek the unity of the body so that the world may know that we are of Christ and in doing so they will come to know the One we serve. We cannot do that, however, if we're pulling in different directions without a specific aim or focus. It is impossible to be united, as Christ prayed we must be before His death (John 17), if our relationship with one another is shallow and occasional. 

In the end, it is imperative for each one of us to examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) and not our neighbor in order to truly ascertain how we are living up to the command of the Lord that we are to "love one another, as I have loved you that you love one another" (John 13:35). Love is not expressed in a once in a while fashion. It is the constant yearning of our hearts for the object of our love. If we cannot do this most basic of Christians duties, how can we think greater things will be entrusted to us?


  1. thank you for the encouragement!

  2. This is so true. We keep trying to exhort our youth into understanding the importance of attending all church services. But like it says here, we must set the example.😊❤️

  3. Thanks for sharing your exhortation!