Christianity is Not a Spectator Sport
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." James 1:22
I was so impressed with you. You have a great understanding of the issues and can speak to them so well. You ought to run for office. You are just the type of person we need." To that he chuckled and responded, "Why would I run for office when I can just sit on the sidelines and critique those who do?"
I was so disappointed at that moment. I could not understand the mentality of preferring to criticize those who serve instead of offering one's own self for service...and I still don't. It just seems hypocritical to me. If you don't have any skin in the game (so to speak), then you are just not in a position to critique anything.
Yet, such is a trait we see even in the churchworld. You know the type; they always have something negative to say, but don't bring anything of their own to the table. They do nothing to build up a ministry, but are often the first to start prattling on about what they think others are doing wrong. They sit in fellowships week after week becoming engorged on the word of God, yet it never translates into practice where the word becomes life to others around them. They can only [mis]use the letter to bring death (II Corinthians 3:6).
"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise." Proverbs 6:6
I am not saying that works define our faith, but I am saying that true faith will produce works (James 2:18). We are the light of the world, and how will our Father in Heaven be glorified if we do not let our light shine forth?
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16
So, I thought it might be a helpful reminder to point out the importance of each of us doing the works of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13). Has God given you a ministry or put a calling on your heart? Go do it! If not, has He shown you a ministry He is using to reach others? Get plugged into it! No matter the capacity, every member of the Body of Christ is given by God some talents to share and it is God's purpose for each of us to be vital, living, contributing parts of that Body (Romans 12:4-11; I Corinthians 12:4-27).
Consider it this way. If any part of the natural human body is not alive - is not contributing to the overall health & function of the body, but is instead draining life away from it - that body part would need to be amputated so as not to spread death to the entire body. So it is in God (John 15:4-6). As blood brings oxygen to every part of your body to keep it alive, so does the Spirit of God bring life to the various parts of the Body to quicken it for usefulness (Psalm 119:37; Romans 8:11).
In a time where there is a lot of talking, and everybody has a "word", let's keep in mind that if we are the Body of Christ, then we will be actively engaged in His work as He works through us. Don't be as the mockers and the hypocrites who prefer to sit on the sidelines.
"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the
kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in
heaven." Matthew 7:21
"For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matthew 12:50
"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the
foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat
vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded
upon a rock." Luke 6;46-48
"If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." John 13:17
"Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing." Matthew 24:26