"Let The Word...
Dwell In You"
Memory Verse Archives
Have you ever noticed who does the booing at a ball game? It is not the players on the field. They have made their own mistakes, and they are not inclined to boo their fellow player when he makes his. They are pulling for one another, encouraging, helpful. They play as a team, win or lose as a team, suffer together as a team, and rejoice together as a team. It is the spectators who boo. So it is in every walk of life: it is the spectators who, as a rule, do the criticizing, not the participants.
Unfortunately, in every congregation, there are the spectators and there are participants. The spectators never teach a Bible class, preach, lead singing, preside at the table, or encourage those who do those public works; they really don't get that much involved in the worship itself. But, more often than not, they are the very ones who are found criticizing the preacher or the song leader or the Bible class teacher. They are the ones who are so embarrassed and incensed when someone commits an error in his efforts to lead the group. They come wanting to hear something interesting and that will make the time fly. If they hear, they cheer; if not they boo.
Not so with the true participants, those who are really involved in the Lord's work. They are the ones cheering on that rookie who is preaching his first sermon or leading his first song. When a brother attempts to teach his first Bible class, they are looking for ways to be helpful. They are sympathetic, they rejoice in the success of others, they mourn over the sorrows of others; they feel for the one who has failed, make allowance for him to try again, and assure him that he will do better next time. They rejoice especially in the development of the young men and women in the Lord's work. They are just as nervous and excited when the young people make their first attempt at presiding at the table or teaching a class as they would be if they were their own children.
How many preachers have decided to move because of the booing spectators right at the time when the participants were enjoying their greatest spiritual growth? How many elders have planned a work around the demands of the spectators rather then the needs of the participants?
Spectators need to become participants and find out what it's like out there on the field. Participants need to keep on doing their best, ignoring the boos, while looking to their all-seeing and understanding "Manager" for approval. All need to be preparing for judgment, where it will be the "doers of the word", not the critics, who will be saved. "Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous" (1 Peter 3:8).
Christians, like ball-players, make a sad mistake when they listen too closely to the "boo-birds".
Dennis Rigstad, adapted
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
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