By Rick Shamus
One of the great problems that many in service to the Lord is the fact that they have a “casual” attitude towards God. This is not a new problem for the children of God. In 2 Chronicles 24:5, “And he gathered together the priests and the Levites, and said to them, `Go out unto the cities of Judah, and gather of all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that ye hasten the matter.’ Howbeit the Levites hastened it not.” Notice that the scripture does not say that the Levites did it not or weren’t willing to do it all, but rather that they “hastened it not.” They were far too “casual” in their attitude towards obeying the commandment.
While it may be easy to see this problem in others, it might not be so easy to see it in myself. I must look to the definition of the word “casual” and compare this with my actions, for my actions will tell my attitude.
“Casual” (As defined by The American Heritage Dictionary):
1. Occurring by chance; accidental . There is no way anyone can serve the Lord by accident. Our service must be from the heart and based upon truth. It must come from a heart that is submissive to the will of God. Yet, many continue to try to serve the Lord in that which is convenient to themselves. They expect God to adjust to their schedules and to their likes and dislikes. They offer what is leftover of their time, abilities, and money. They do what they think is right, in the manner that they think is best. In so doing, they place themselves not in the role of servant, but of master (Matt. 7:21-23).
2. Occurring at irregular intervals; not planned; occasional. The obvious thought that comes to mind is that many are “casual” in their attendance of the assembly, meaning that they don’t show up! They tend to let anything, or nothing at all, keep them from assembling with the saints. But what about our study of the Bible, prayer, teaching the lost and such things? Do these things occur at irregular intervals, go unplanned and therefore are done only occasionally? This also is “casual” service.
3. Showing little interest; nonchalant. Many are “casual” in attendance even though they seldom miss. It never ceases to amaze me how many of the Lord’s children hold to the secular idea of “going to church” as opposed to “assembling with the saints” to accomplish God’s purpose. The simple act of “attending” is in itself, “casual” service. So many seem to think that they are serving God simply by their physical presence. They don’t seem to think that the fact that their mind is miles away has anything to do with it. I have seen people talking, laughing, passing notes, reading magazines, sleeping, and wandering around the building during the classes. I have seen people stand silently while the assembled saints praise God or teach and admonish one another through song. They simply are not interested. This is “casual” service.
4. Suited for everyday wear or use; informal. Certainly this brings to mind the clothes that we wear. We should not be “casual” in our choice of what we wear, simply because our clothing reflects our attitude. Our dress simply ought to be such that it reflects our respect for God. First, it ought to be decent and orderly, modest, and not pretentious. Secondly, it should be appropriate to the occasion. It is obvious that one will dress differently depending on what he is doing. He will dress one way to play basketball, another to pour concrete, and yet another to worship God. Yet in all these things he can dress decently and orderly, modestly, in an unpretentious manner. Still, he would not properly wear his “good clothes” to pour concrete in, nor his coveralls to play basketball in, nor should he wear his basketball clothes to worship.
We must also be mindful that there is some clothing that is simply not appropriate for Christians to wear anytime or anyplace. I have seen brethren come to the assembly in clothing that they should have been ashamed to be seen in. Some of it is just plain immodest. I have seen others wearing clothing that advertised everything from lewd jokes to beer! I believe the problem is that they have a very “casual” attitude towards modesty, filthy language, alcohol and such things. And that translates into a “casual” attitude about sin! How we present ourselves to the world is a very important part of service to God. Our outward clothing ought to accurately reflect our inward attitudes. Unfortunately for some, it does!
We must guard against becoming “casual” in our service to God, for God will not accept “casual” service. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matt. 22:37-38).
Say this for Rip Van Winkle, he finally woke up .. . Some never do.
Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 7, p. 12
April 7, 1994