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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Do You Help or Hinder the Church?

The other day, Trey Morgan wrote this post about being a Christian hypocrite.  The post really made me think.  I'm not doing any of the things he mentioned in his post.  The things Trey mentioned seemed like "BIG" things.  But, am I doing anything that would hinder the growth of the church?  Aren't "little" things that I might be doing, really BIG things, too?  God doesn't see sin as "BIG" or "little".  Sin is sin in His eyes, and it should be in our eyes, as well.

From time to time, maybe we should examine our own lives....not someone else's' life....and see if we are helping or hindering the Lord's work.

1.  Faithful - Am I faithful to God, to Jesus, and to His church?  Do I attend worship, Bible classes, other church gatherings?  Being faithful isn't just meaning sitting on a pew, but am I an actively involved member?  Do I faithfully pray for those who are sick and hurting?  Do I faithfully do what I can to bring others to Christ?  Am I always faithful or am I only faithful when it is convenient for me to do so?

2.  Servant - Am I a worker in the church?  Do I volunteer to help in ways that will help the church or do I leave the work up to others who I believe are more capable or who have more time?  Am I willing to help when asked or do I make excuses of why I can't help?  Do I expect to be catered to or am I an eager servant of God, willing to serve others in order for them to have their needs met?  Do I put others' needs above my own or am I selfish with my money, food, and talents?

3.  Example of my words - What does my Christian life say to those around me?  Am I hypocritical?  Am I a good example and one that exemplifies the life of Jesus?  What about my words?  Do they shout to the world that I'm living a life of service to God, or do they shout prideful and boastful words that make me look selfish?  When I speak, do I speak with love or with hate?  Are my words hurtful or helpful?  Do they uplift and encourage or tear down and destroy?

4.  Example of my life - What do people see when they look at my life?  Do they see someone devoted to spiritual things or to earthly things?  Does my Christian walk mimic the walk of Jesus or does it mimic the ways of the world?  What would people say is the most important thing in my life?  Is it what I would want them to say or do I need to adjust my priorities and show that Christ is the center of my life?  Am I using my money, my talents, and my time for selfish reasons or to glorify God and as a servant for Him?

5.  Am I a help or a hinderance?  By my words and by my actions, do others have a positive view of the Christian life or of the church, or do I cause it to be a negative view?  Am I argumentative and cause strife within my relationships or do I seek ways of being understood without arguing?  Do I take pleasure in calling out those who are wrong or do I gently restore/explain to them the Way (as Aquila and Priscilla did in Acts 18:26.)  Is my "point" and my desire to be "right" more important than showing the love of Christ to others?  Am I a peacemaker or a troublemaker?  Am I humble or am I prideful?  Am I showing love or festering hate?  If a problem comes up, do I activity try to help find a solution, or am I part of the problem?  Am I mature or immature?

It's easy to point out the problems that others have.  We seem to have no trouble doing that at all.  What's more difficult is truthfully examining our own lives and seeing what we are doing to help or to hinder the church.  Maybe we're fine.  Maybe nothing we're doing is hindering growth.  But, on the other hand, maybe we're not doing all.  Maybe our "not doing anything" is a hinderance.  Maybe we should get busy!  Maybe we should get our minds off of ourselves and get busy for the Lord!

Our Christian walk may be the only thing some people see that would point them to Jesus.  It's imperative that we take our walk seriously.  It matters!  It matters to us....and to the world around us.  We must let our lights shine!

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Philippians 3:17-21

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