THAT IS WHERE THEY NEED TO BE
Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m not going to church ‘cause there’s hypocrites there?” No doubt – but what is the response since clearly there are really hypocrites there? Well, it is true that there are hypocrites in the church. But that is exactly where the hypocrite needs to be. Jesus died on the cross so that liars, cheats, murderers, the sexually immoral, and even “hypocrites” as one might suggest could find forgiveness. God created the church so that this forgiveness could be offered to them and all, and they too could be encouraged to trust the Lord Jesus Christ. However, the hypocrisy of others doesn’t excuse anyone’s disobedience to the command of God to worship with other believers. The sin of not worshiping the Lord is just as offensive as that of the hypocrite. But for the professing Christian who doesn’t want to go to church, the good news is, if you are in fact a Christian, then Jesus’ death has freed you from the sin of pride, which isn’t allowing you to extend grace to those (hypocrites) who may claim they know Jesus Christ, but do not obey his
commands. Jesus’ resurrection has empowered you to extend grace and forgiveness to others who are not perfect. Therefore, the church is where you need to be as well. God created the church so believers who struggle with sin can come together and celebrate the forgiveness they have in Christ and encourage one another toward love for the Lord and obedience to Him. Jesus Christ’s grace toward us empowers us to extend grace to one another. This is a great reason for you to come and join others, even with their blemishes (including hypocrisy), in worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ in church.
“CALLING” FOR MEANING IN OUR WORK
The first job I ever wanted was to be a "garbage man," as that is what I called it at age 5. I would run out to the curb each week when the garbage truck came. The garbage man would greet me with a big smile and say, "How are you, Jimmy?" It was apparent that this man had a positive attitude while performing what most would call a smelly, repetitive, and mundane job. I sincerely believe that this man – who impacted my life and whom I will never forget – loved his job because he saw beyond the required tasks and faithfully served and cared for others. For him, it had little to do with the job itself. I wanted to be just like him because, as I look back now, I sensed his service, commitment, devotion and calling. Calling? Calling is a heartfelt perspective that you are to be a faithful steward of your time, abilities, and employment opportunity to serve the Creator and your fellow man. If you make the choice to view calling as service and commitment, contributing by making a difference in the lives of others, the impact will be immense. You will have a tangible positive impact in the lives of co-workers, clients, patrons, patients, and even strangers. At work, those with a calling perspective have a commitment to their co-workers beyond their job requirements. They are committed, service-oriented team players. People who view their work as a calling do not long for the evenings and weekends, but thrive during the workday. In one's personal life, calling produces desirable and life-changing benefits. Enthusiasm, passion, resiliency, and intrinsic motivation typify these calling pursuers. I will never forget the garbage man's energy, smile, sincerity, and caring approach. Do you want it and the real, practical benefits that calling can bring to your life, now? It is a decision to look beyond your employment challenges and circumstances, to choose to transform your life and workplace by adopting and applying a calling perspective. The job itself doesn't produce it. It is a life-changing inner conviction to revolutionize one's life and work environment through the call to invest, give, and serve.
Dr. James Thrasher