I've been a bad steward
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Over the past few years, I've been very disappointed with various churches and organizations that haven't been good stewards. Whether it's not spending money wisely, not taking advantage of opportunities presented, or simply not using their manpower efficiently, it's frustrating to know God has supplied potential that is going untapped.
Last Sunday, while sitting in Sunday school, I was convicted and moved to tears. Our church wasn't holding our annual community Honor <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />America event this year. As I was thinking of how our church has missed an excellent opportunity to express love of Country while sharing our Christian heritage this 4th of July, God prompted me with an area where I have been negligent.
We'd had a smaller patriotic service that Sunday morning. I was pleased to hear one speaker talk of God's providential hand that had protected our Forefathers as well as the testimonies of some servicemen we honored. Yet, we failed to remind ourselves that the sacrifices of our earlier soldiers may very well be in vain if we don't continue to stand firm and fight for our God given rights today. We have to, as a Christian people, be willing to take the same courageous stand as those who bravely signed their name on the Declaration acknowledging their Creator. We must say no to the sins God has condemned or we risk losing the blessing and protections that we celebrate every 4th of July. God didn't bless America because she was great. America is great BECAUSE God has blessed her.
I was frustrated that we had fallen short of helping those Christians who were in church that morning understand simple and practical things they could do during the week that would honor God and help ensure His righteousness continues to be exalted in our laws and public policy, in our neighborhoods and in our homes. That's not Political, that's Biblical. It's being salt and light, Matt. 5:13-16, but that's a whole new column.
As I was sitting in class, seeking God, questioning why, and admittedly sulking that we had missed yet another opportunity, I felt a question back at me. "Why do you fail to follow through when you're given an opportunity?" I can't explain to you the instant hurt I felt. A warm sensation welled up within me as a lump grew in my throat and tears filled my eyes. I know only too often, I disappoint God either through an action, a thought, or a word, but to realize God has given me a rare opportunity that is also an honor and that I have neglected it - really hurt - and I earnestly repented and promised to follow through this week.
You see, for me, that opportunity is writing these articles for Worldview Weekend. Having the opportunity to share small insights and possible pieces of wisdom that God might allow me to see and using them to challenge my fellow believers to be better Christians, better citizens, and better students of God's Word is a wonderful responsibility.
I hadn't written for a while. It takes time, but that's not the only reason. I was growing concerned with the attitudes of a few supposed Christian readers. Most readers shared thoughtful, sincere, or constructive comments. However, some were angry and seemingly more interested in expressing their dissent than seeking God's possible input. I was concerned about their walk. Plus, I didn't want to bear the millstone for causing someone else reading the comments to struggle. I'm not speaking of the people who were honest enough to reflect, evaluate, and ask questions to bring understanding. It was people who simply didn't want to deal with the truth. We probably all agree we can work to be better, but some of us are willing to do that only on our own terms, rather than asking God what His will might be in every area of our life. Are we willing to actually give something we enjoy to the Lord and ask Him, "Would you have me continue?" God calls us to submit in everything we do, John 3:30. That's not just our worship; it's our dress, our behavior, our words, our hobbies, our entertainment, our work, our relationships, etc. It didn't seem to be new believers with questions or admitted unbelievers who disagreed. It appeared to be people who had just enough familiarity with the Word to manipulate it to cover their actions and enough complacency in their faith to be comfortable in doing so. They weren't concerned about 'spurring' each other to better living in the Lord, Heb. 10:24. They were simply 'sparring' and I wasn't comfortable supplying a forum for it.
I'm not an early bird, but today when I awoke at 5:00 a.m. to do my Bible study, and yes, to be obedient and write my first column in a long while, I decided to read today's assigned scripture in my "Bible in a Year". This is interesting, because I had been studying in my Women's Bible, but today, for some reason I turned to June 28th and read Prov. 18:2 "Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions."
You may interpret that as you wish, but it was confirmation to me, that those who wish to simply disrupt are not my responsibility. I am called to do as I believe is God's will. I am responsible for my action, not the in-action or re-action of others. I will take the time to write out of love for my brothers and sisters in the Lord. That may be with humor, satire, righteous anger, or whatever emotion I feel necessary to prompt thought. I will not allow a few who wish to simply 'air their opinions' without hoping for understanding to hamper the possibilities for me or others to learn.
I am so thankful God cares enough to continually correct me, humble me, and teach me. My prayer is that each of you who read these columns on Worldview Weekend also cherish a loving relationship with the Savior and you will allow Him to hold you accountable and correct you if necessary. I work to be open to His leading whether it be through prayer, the Word, or a fellow believer. I pray that you too will have an unquenchable thirst for the truth of His Word, the wisdom to see how it fits into our culture today and the courage to act on it visibly in our communities, churches, and our families. God calls us to be good stewards of all that we are given. From now on, for me, that includes opportunities. Blessings to you all.
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