Have you noticed how ugly a person gets when they are stuck indoors a lot. I don't mean appearance but their attitude, temperament and perspective. I have noticed with all my children that the longer they stay in bed the grumpier they get. The longer they play video games the more fights they have. Yet, when they are outside, running around, riding their bikes, being with friends, they laugh a lot more and are pleasant to be with. I notice the same thing with the Church.
Christians are spending far too much time "indoors". We love to worship, take classes, study, be together, fellowship, but the more we do that the uglier we get. We end up in arguments, fights, debates over things that do not matter for the mission.We have this love affair with words. I am not referring to God's Word but our words. We love to hear ourselves talk. We write a lot of books too. We are staying "indoors" far too much, sleeping too long. We do a lot of navel gazing and it is not healthy. It is not what we were told to do.
About words, Paul told Timothy to warn his people:
"Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen." (2 Timothy 2:14)
We seem to have turned the Christian walk into some kind of academic pursuit. Everyone wants certificates and diplomas, letters after their name. We want to spend our time in discussion but Jesus called us to action. The Word is useless if not put into action. Our service is useless if it is not of action. The Word warns us;
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." (James 1:22)
Yes, study the Word; know what the instructions are; understand and then live it. I am not saying we should not study but if all you do is study you are wasting your time. We have to get outside, run around, ride our bikes, play with our friends. We have to live life, filled by the Spirit, acting on the Word, being the "salt" this world is so desperate for. We have to be in the world, the workplace, the hockey arena, the market place and we must live like Jesus, representing him so others can know him. This is when we will be the healthiest, when we will know the joy of the Lord, when we will see the most spiritual growth we have ever experienced. This is when we will be fulfilling our mandate, our commission, our purpose, our calling.
If we would be busy with our King's work we would have less time to fight about words, there would be less division and there would be more of Jesus for the world to see. It's great to be a student of the Word and hopefully you will be that for the rest of your life, but if all you are is a student then you have missed the entire point of it. Be doers and let the Spirit work through you to effect change in the hearts of everyone you have contact with today.