August 20, 2017

“I’m Just Too Busy”

By Norman E. Sewell

No matter what the chore may be, most Christians today are just too busy to help. And especially if there is little glory and much work involved. God's word has a great deal to say about being busy and about that which should keep us busy.

GOD DOES NOT CONDONE LAZINESS. In the Roman letter (Rom. 12:1011) the Apostle Paul addresses himself not only to the relationship between a Christian and his brother, but also to the one between the Christian and his Lord. Notice his instruction, "Not slothful in business;" (K. J. V.) or "in diligence not slothful;" (A. S. V.) both adding "serving the Lord." In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul wrote, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thess. 3: 10). When Paul wrote to the Corinthians (I Cor. 15:50-58) he reminded them of the resurrection from the dead, the victory over death, given by God through Christ. Then, almost as a conclusion he added, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." Notice: 1. always abounding in the work of the Lord, and 2. your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

A lack of works shows a lack of faith. In James 2, the writer shows the important relationship between faith and works. Abraham (v. 21) was said to have been "justified by works." But the real key seems to have been given in verse 22, ". . . and by works was faith made perfect." If we have no works our faith is imperfect or incomplete In fact, verse 26 tells us that faith apart from works is dead. And from verse 24 we learn that a man cannot be justified by faith only. So then, not by a dead faith, but by a faith perfected by works is a man justified.

LEFT OVERS FOR GOD? There are some Christians who are too busy to serve God except occasionally. Their only appearance at the regular period of worship is at times of convenience. But, faithfully attending every period of worship is not the end of a Christian's duty. It is simply the beginning. Many who do faithfully attend are too busy to help with any classes, or to prepare for a series of meetings, or whatever.

I do not know the Bible well enough to say that God never called a lazy man to work, but I do know that many times he called those who were already busy. Moses was busy tending sheep when called to go and lead Israel out of Egypt. Saul and David were both busy when chosen to become King of Israel. Christ called his disciples from among men who were busy. Peter and Andrew were busy casting a net into the sea; James and John were busy mending their nets; Matthew was busy at the place of toll; Saul of Tarsus was busy persecuting Christians. That they were not afraid of work was evident when the Lord called them.

Why do we offer to God that which is left over of our time, our energy, our money or whatever? Could it be that our sense of values is a little warped? Could it be that we have lost sight of that which is really important? Paul was able to say in Gal. 2:20, "1 am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not 1,, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Not only is our "old man" of sin crucified with Christ, (Rom. 6:6) but our own will is to be crucified too, so that Christ liveth in us, directing us, through his word. If we give God the leftovers it is evident that we were not crucified with Christ in the same manner as was Paul. Christ's language in Matt. 6:33 is even more pointed, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Christianity is not a religion of leftovers.

SUMMARY-We are all very busy. And usually each of us thinks that he is much busier about important things than is our brother. But each of us has the responsibility to be ". . . always abounding in the work of the Lord." If you are giving God leftovers because you have too many other things to do please consider these possibilities: 1. that you are too busy for your own spiritual good; or, 2. that you are really lazy, because you are shirking part of your responsibility, and that the most important part, your duty to God. Shall we ask ourselves this question who comes first, God or me?

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XI: 7, pp. 8-9
April 1967

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