If the pastor never deals with this phase of the work, new problems emerge. Men will wear their hair longer and longer. The music will get wilder and wilder. Soon, moving picture shows will replace the Wednesday night prayer meetings. Each deviant practice will be defended as if it had been sanctified by the desire to “make disciples.”
By E. L. Holley
Solutions are not always simple!
If that seems to be the expression of the obvious, so be it. However, it seems to me that we not only need to say it, we also need to meditate on it. Perhaps a little meditation in this area could save us a lot of futile efforts.
Over a hundred years ago, a story goes, some American families were faced with such a vexing problem they decided to do something about it. The problem involved the common house fly. Hordes of flies made life almost unbearable. To rid themselves of the pesky little insects they tried everything. Well, almost everything.
Finally, a solution was offered which was held to be the ultimate by its exponents. Each family was urged to acquire a hornet’s nest for the home. Driven to distraction, many accepted this unusual proposal, feeling something must be done.
The idea was that the hornets would keep the house free of flies. Moreover, its promoters argued, hornets would not bother people so long as people would not bother them. It seemed simple enough. And, since something had to be done, the idea was implemented by many progressive-minded people.
The only problem they encountered was one of education. It took too long to learn what did and did not bother the hornet. Moreover, each lesson learned was a painful experience. Whether the original problem was solved or not, we are not told. But, it is reasonable to assume that the solution was laden with its own set of problems.
We are not without problems. We want our church to be the best it can become under God. We want to win the lost. We want to fulfill our God-given role. We want to see harmony prevail in our ranks. These are godly objectives; but, we are not without obstacles and problems. We are in need of solutions.
Yet, solutions, as I said, are not always simple. We can devise a solution with as many stinging side effects as a hornet’s nest.
For instance, our desire for our church to be the best it can become is a noble one. We can look around and find fault. This doesn’t require too much effort. Then, we can degrade a noble desire by comparing ourselves with ourselves-which, according to the apostle Paul, is not wise (II Corinthians 10:12). Such a comparison can begin with declarations that our Sunday school, our church, or our youth group is going to be the biggest, the best, etc. Such remarks initiate a competitive spirit among us. Paul denounced such activity and the attitudes that promote it as the sin of emulation (Galatians 5:20).