A longtime pet peeve of mine has been the lack of appreciation regarding punctuality, especially as it relates to arriving on time for church services. I'm not talking about the occasional lateness due to some unforeseen circumstance but the habitual practice of being late due to a complete lack of concern for arriving on time to worship with the saints. A lack of punctuality is a clear lack of respect for others, first it does not give "honor" or "preference to one another" (Romans 12:10) and it neither "esteem others better than himself." (Philippians 2:3) including our Lord Jesus Christ, Who promises to honor us with His presence when "two or three are gathered together" (Matthew 18:20 I know it's out of context but you get the point) in His name. But I wonder how many of us who practice such sluggishness on the Lord's Day are always prompt to their jobs or a doctor's appointment and still think they are putting Christ first?
The habitual practice of tardiness often robs us of opportunities because it does not communicate faithfulness or trustworthiness. Consider the missed opportunity to visit with the brethren before the service or class and share in prayer request or the first hymn sung to our Lord, and not to mention the more obvious when visitors arrive who often are never late and the impression it must leave on them when the class or congregation is distracted with a late arrival. For how can one expect to be seen “faithful in much” when they can’t even be “faithful in a very little”? (Luke 16:10)
And how can one expect to be trusted if they are seen as unfaithful?
Arriving late is also frustrating, imagine the amount of time the Sunday School teacher or Pastor spends preparing all week to feed the sheep with the Word of God and then one comes in late without even an apology can be very frustrating not only for the Pastor/Teacher but the class/congregation and may prompt resentment towards the offending party who is clearly not communicating a “good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21) attitude in serving the Lord with the brethren and reeks of selfishness and pride.
To continue in a pattern of tardiness is sinful because it expresses a lack of love for others and is just plain rude, and “love is not rude” (1 Corinthians 13:5). If others perceive that we are unloving or rude then our reputation as a Christian will suffer. "A good name is better than precious ointment" (Ecclesiastes 7:1). Our lack of punctuality is neither making a good name for ourselves or a good reputation as a Christian. Now I have heard those who say well “better late than never”; and that may suffice for worldlings, but “better never late” should be the Christian mindset. As Christian we should not be known for always being late; it’s a bad testimony to our Lord Jesus Christ, and it does not honor Him or glorify Him. Punctuality should always characterize the servant of Christ.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Today the Christian landscape can be very confusing especially if your on facebook, just this week alone I have been taught that I can "give God control", but the Bible says "He does according to His will in the Host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, "What hast Thou done" (Daniel 4:35). I've also been taught that I need to "trust myself", but the Bible says to "lean not unto thine own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5) because my "heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:8-10). It also seems that being "happy" is now the greatest virtue a Christian can obtain, but the Bible says "Be ye holy; for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:16) I know it's hard to believe but apparently there is "no absolute truth", wait a minute that's an absolute statement. Some Christians are teaching that we are "all children of God" but Jesus said "Ye are of your father the devil" (John 8:44). I've noticed that cussing and drinking have become very popular within some Christian circles but the Bible says "From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so" (James 3:10) and that "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise" (Proverbs 20:1). Christians also seem to think we are all good people, but the Bible says "none is good" (Luke 18:19) and Jesus called us "evil" (Matthew 7:11). Success and self-esteem are popular topics among Christians today as well but the success they speak of is a path to a worldly success not the Joshua 1:8 path and self-esteem is not the solution it's the problem for it is the very essence of unbelief and pride. And the number one thing that Christians promote on facebook more than any other is "judge not" (John 7:1) but the Bible also says to "judge righteous judgment." (John 7:24). So the message I hear coming from Christians today is that "I'm in control, I can do it, do what ever makes me happy, I'm a good person, trust myself and I'll have success and feel good about myself, never make judgments and God will be pleased with me." Folks that's the same message of the world and Christians are now so drunk with this false gospel that they actually hate messages like this one that expose it's lies. "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light" (John 3:20).