Scripture tells us that in becoming a Christian everyone is given at least one spiritual gift and if that gift is exercised faithfully then God may well add others in due course. Yet it always saddens me to have an older follower of Jesus tell me that they reckon they've, 'had their day'. Yes, they've served the Lord and His people faithfully for many years, perhaps holding a responsible, prominent position in church life. But now, with increasing age and infirmity, they've found themselves on the periphery of things.
OFFICE AND FUNCTION
Of course what's so easily forgotten is that in God's sight it's not so much the office we hold that's important, but the function we perform. And nowhere in the Bible does God disqualify any of His people due to age. Their function may have to change, but not their value to Him. Yet sadly one of the subtle temptations older Christians often face, and with God's help must overcome, is the tendency to express dissatisfaction and disapproval with 'how things are done today'. So with this in mind, how about the following...
A carpenter's tools were holding an AGM with Brother Hammer in the chair.
But before long some tools began to complain. They told him he wasn't
the right one to preside. 'He's far too forceful.' someone said, 'And always
makes so much noise,' added another.
Someone suggested Brother Vice should preside instead. After all, he could keep
a firm grip on proceedings. 'Yes', countered Brother Hammer, 'but we all know
that he struggles with that serious 'moral problem'!
Brother Hammer, agreed to go, but spitefully insisted that Sister Plane must leave too, 'She's never shown any true conviction... no real depth to her activities.'
'No, not at all', Sister Plane replied, 'After all, I'm good at smoothing things over when they get rough'. But then she insisted that Brother Rule should leave as well. Is he not forever sizing people up and insisting he's always right?'
Brother Rule then pointed out that Sister Sandpaper was far too abrasive, too capable of rubbing people up the wrong way. So she should certainly go.
'Just a minute', shouted Sister Sandpaper, 'What about Brother screwdriver,
he's a bit of a twister you know... never happy unless he's turning things round
to his own way of thinking.'
Then Brother Screwdriver joined in, criticising Sister Saw for her cutting remarks...
and even condemning Brother Drill for being such a bore!
Well, not surprisingly the meeting began to descend into chaos.
Then suddenly there was a hush as in walked the Carpenter of Nazareth.
He approached His workbench and to everyone's surprise, He began to use each and every tool in order to complete the work set before Him.
OK this is all a bit tongue in cheek but I'm sure you get the point. Maybe it's a timely reminder that not only does the Lord want to use us all in His service, despite our age and imperfections, but sadly we can also seriously hinder the work of the gospel through our corrosive attitudes towards one another.
ABILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES
I suspect that if we all spent more time exercising the abilities and seizing the opportunities God gives us, instead of complaining and criticising one another, much more would be accomplished. So let's make sure you and I are always ready to be used.. no matter what!