How Are You Coming on Your Chores?
Around most families, various responsibilities are expected of each member of that family. Many of us grew up calling these responsibilities “chores.” At least in our family, there wasn’t money enough for an “allowance,” but each of us were given responsibilities. As we grew, so grew the list of those chores according to our abilities. There was no “delegation” of these chores from one sibling to another; but should one or more be unable to complete their chore, one of the remaining four of us was expected to complete the extra task without complaint! I can admit it didn’t always work out that way (without complaint, that is), and while I’m admitting things, not always did all the chores get done as expected! Still, there was always a “reckoning” and depending on the quantity and quality of completed chores, sometimes the “reckoning” was more pleasant than at other times.
Now that we’re grown, and not even the grandchildren come around as often as we’d like, the chores at home seem greater in quantity, and not always completed with great quality. Once the “empty nest syndrome” becomes permanent, we grandparents find ourselves wondering, “Why am I so tired? I used to do all that and more …” True, but we usually had some help and now it’s gone! Our chores have increased simply because there are no longer the extra hands, feet and minds to contribute. So, we spread out the work, “prioritizing” the chores and organizing them so we can at least take a break now and then!
Isn’t that the case in many congregations of the Lord’s church? There are certain “chores” that need to be done, but in many places the hands, feet and minds that once contributed to the completion of these chores are much fewer for various reasons. Some have grown old enough to move from home in pursuit of careers, education, or family. Others have died and their absence remains quite vivid. Still others may have a strong willingness to do the chores, but their flesh doesn’t permit the actions to match the desires. Yet, the chores must be done; and when there are only a few to complete them, those few must accept the increased burden of these chores until such a time as others are willing and able to accept the responsibility.
The “I can’t do that” attitude must never be permitted regarding the “chores” of serving our Lord. Paul stated plainly, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13) But this doesn’t mean everyone has the ability to do the work. We realize the need for someone to lead singing, lead prayer, lead the study, etc. There may be desire, but if there isn’t any ability, then who does the work? This is the reason for Paul’s statement to Ephesus, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11 – 13) If you don’t know the “how to” about one of the “chores,” then ask those who do! Let them help you learn it by doing it, so when their willingness is challenged by some inability, the chore is completed nonetheless, and without complaint!
There are so many “non-worship” things to do as well. Cleaning the building, maintaining the grounds, helping those who can no longer drive, (or shouldn’t), helping those whose needs have increased for various reasons, visiting the sick, comforting the troubled --- there are so many things that need doing! (Matthew 25: 34- 40)
As a child, my parents taught their children a very simple truth: “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well!” As parents and now grandparents, we’ve tried to instill that same philosophy in our own children. Jesus taught it this way: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” (Matthew 7:12) If we children of God (i.e. Christians) would realize this passage applies as well to our service to our Father in Heaven, would not the quality and the quantity of our “chores” increase … and without complaint?
Just as in families where chores are considered personal responsibilities, there’s no place for “bragging rights” in the service of Christ Jesus. When you see a job that needs doing, just do it! Let God have all the glory … keep people guessing at “Who did that?” God knows every work of love we complete (Hebrews 6:10) and He doesn’t forget! Let’s be of the mindset that we’ll each do what we can as we can, help who we can and teach the younger how to do it, so there is never a time when someone has to ask, “Who’s going to do this or that?” We’ve got chores to do … let’s get to them!
Michael J. Davis, preacher
Orleans church of Christ
660 South Maple Street
Orleans, IN 47452