Justifying our Choices

11801604_m In Acts 6, the apostles made a decision not to get personally involved in caring for some neglected widows.  However, they were able to justify their choice.  They said it was not desirable to leave the word of God to serve tables; instead, the chose to appoint others to minister to these widows, while we give ourselves continually to prayer and the word (Acts 6:2-4).  Good justification for their choice.

But now, here’s my question.  What if we had to give a justification for the choices we make?  Would we be embarrassed?  Ashamed?  Would our justifications expose our shallow priorities?  Do a little self-examination and reflection.  Could the following be some of the brutally honest justifications for some of our choices?

  • It is not desirable to sit with a family during their loved one’s surgery; instead I will give myself to updating my Facebook status, and checking my stats and RSS feeds.
  • It is not desirable to do adequate sermon preparation this week; instead I will give myself to catching up with all my friends’ status updates, and I’ll borrow someone else’s outline Saturday night.
  • It is not desirable to spend quality time with my family today; instead I will give myself to all the neat, creative, and funny videos that were posted in my news feed.
  • It is not desirable to visit the lost and try to set up a study; instead I will give myself to arguing with a fellow preacher that posted an article in which I didn’t like way he worded several matters.
  • It is not desirable to spend time praying for the church; instead I will give myself to eagerly watching and responding to all those who “like” my latest post.
  • It is not desirable to do a full week’s work in service to the local church; instead I will allow brethren to sacrifice their hard-earned money so that I can be supported full-time to do part-time work.

Am I against social media?  Not at all!  I love technology.  I use social media.  I think it can be a great tool.  But I also know it can be, and is abused!  Fellow preachers, there’s a lost world out there!  There are people who sit in our pews who need our attention!  Our families needs our attention and interaction at home!  Our sermons and Bible classes may need more preparation than we’re giving them.  We must stop if we’re taking advantage of good brethren who sacrifice their hard-earned money to support us full-time.  We must stop if betraying our elders’ trust concerning how we use our time. We must stop if we’re giving less than our best effort in our sermons and classes. We must stop if we’re robbing God!

Don’t abandon social media altogether.  Use it wisely to God’s glory.  Use it to catch up with old friends.  Use it just for fun.  But use it; don’t abuse it.  Log out.  Shut down.  Turn it off.  Allow yourself some undivided time in which you can do your work without the constant disruption of “notification dings,” breaking your train of thought.

Remember, someday we’ll all have to answer to God, and justify our choices.  Could it be that when we honestly evaluate our choices, we’re embarrassed by our justifications?  If so, bring balance back to your life, your family, and your ministry.

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Comments 4

  • Ouch! That hurt! Thanks for the reminder Steve. If we preachers are not careful a lot of valuable time can pass if we don’t use the technology wisely. I hope every gospel preacher as well as all brethren will take heed. Thanks again.

  • Like so many things that come into our lives they can be a great aid but then we don’t use them the way we should but rather abuse them.

  • Steve, Thank you for such thought provoking lessons. This applys to so many of the things we do as Christians. Even if we in the work place do not give 100% to our companies, If we pass up an opportunity in the hall to speak of the risen savior only to listen to others speak of things Jesus would not be interested in. We MUST all take these thoughts and apply them to our every day use so we can be ready to meet the Master when he calls us home. I enjoy so many of your thoughts Steve. You, as your Dad speak so kindly with love yet with the bold truth. God Bless you Brother.
    Darlene McKinley

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