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Spiritual Hopscotch

May 28, 2012

Ever know someone who plays spiritual hopscotch?  I do.  I see him in the mirror every day.  I try not to make eye contact because I know I’ll see his failures and weaknesses in those eyes.  And it’s frustrating every time I catch myself falling into that trap of hopping from one issue to another.  Often the jumps aren’t to anything bad.

The devil is always looking for ways to steal, kill and destroy.  If killing you isn’t an option, he’ll figure a way to steal from you.  Many times those ways are through great deception.  People can get so tied up with good things, but aren’t necessarily God things.  Let me explain.

You see a need and decide to help out.  This charity is really helping people and they’re always in need for more hands and feet to help serve.  You, being compassionate, decide to help out.  Something else comes along and demonstrates a need with an opportunity to serve.  You jump in to do that, too.  A third one comes in the form of a neighbor.  She’s elderly and needs some help around the house.  You’ve got a few minutes to spare and it ends up taking a few hours.  Little by little, you become involved in so many outreaches, ministries, services, helps.  Suddenly things start shaking from the inside out.  Maybe your health starts to slip.  Usually those aren’t as quickly noticeable as someone in the family doing something out of character … and then you start remembering all the times you should have been being a parent, but were too busy with all these pet projects or work or hobbies or ministry.  The time robbers can be endless.

You see, none of those things were bad, but the long-term repercussions can be.  The devil couldn’t get you through direct attack, so he got you through the details.  There will always be things you could be doing to help out somewhere.  The wisdom comes from being wise enough to know you can’t do them all.  Seeking God for which ones you should be working on is vital.  After all, seeking God is our first priority as a Christian.  All those things that come in and steal our time, joy, and best efforts generally first robbed us of our time with God.  Watch for this and be ready to let some things go in order to get back to our first priority.

My pastor is very good at using this wisdom and has even shared this topic with us.  He can’t do it all and will never pretend to.  If he did try to do it all, he’d get wore down both physically and spiritually.  I hope to maintain this mindset when our church plant begins.  That will mean sometimes having to tell people, “No, I won’t be able to make it” or “That sounds like a good idea, you go do it.”

The risk/reward is skewed to blessings when we take this approach.  True, there will be some that will think I just don’t care, but the reality is to know your limits and allow God to raise up people to fulfill their part of Christian ministry.  It’s how we learn to grow and mature as the body of Christ.  We simply can’t do it all.  We have to be wiser than that and listen closely to the Holy Spirit.

We all have our own part to do and it can be very easy to just do it so it’s done right OR to never do anything and assume others should be doing it.  Both of those traps can be as damaging as being over involved.  And that discussion is something that definitely needs to be touched on at a later time.

— Pastor Rick

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