Would You Get Me My Sweater?

woman carrying a stack of sweaters

When it comes to serving one another, a friend of mine used the following example: Brother, I’m willing to die for you, but don’t ask me to get your sweater!

It seems easy for us to make grand sacrifices, like “I’ll sell all I have and move to Outer Mongolia.” Apostle John wrote, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” – 1 John 3:16 NIV

It’s the laying down of our lives for small things that so easily trips us up, like fetching someone’s sweater or emptying the church’s dishwasher. 


By the way, – Did you know that our English word mogul, meaning an important or influential person, comes from the mispronunciation of Mongol, as in a person from Mongolia?

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

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Wobbly

I remember the first time I had a set of tires installed on the only new car I’d ever owned, or it seems I would ever own. I took the vehicle to a reputable company. When they’d finished installing the tires I got in my beautiful, shiny car and drove away.

About two blocks later I could tell something was terribly wrong. I pulled over, got out and walked around my car, and there it was. I was instantly angry. How could they do that to my new car!

I could have fixed it, but I thought they should. So, I slowly drove back, pulled in the company’s parking lot, and walked over to the supervisor. He looked at my car then he immediately looked at me. He was more concerned about my response to their mistake than their mistake.

I was no longer angry, just frustrated. I wanted the company to make sure no damage had been done and to correct their mistake. What was their mistake? None of the lug nuts had been tightened on my right, front wheel! The wheel was wobbling which made the whole car out of balance.

This memory came to mind recently during a discussion I had with a person I am confident is saved. However, during our chat, we touched on some topical issues, and I quickly became aware that this person was out-of-balance in their understanding of Scripture.

Coincidently, a dear friend reminded me that we have not yet “apprehended,” referring to Philippians 3:13-14, which reads, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it (i.e., apprehended). But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

What is often preached is an “add to” Christianity, not a “die to” Christianity. True Christianity requires repentance and to “put to death the misdeeds of the body” (Romans 8:13).

The idea that we will go to the front of every line in this world if we become a follower of Jesus is misguided. Some preachers still preach “name it and claim it,” we are the “King’s kids,” and we get “100 fold” increases.

Jesus does bless in so many ways, sometimes even with finances. He may even put us in the front of a line, but all that God does in our lives fits into the building of His kingdom, using only the things He supplies and using them for the fulfillment of His will. 

What was out-of-balance with my friend was the understanding of what Jesus taught, and demonstrated to us; each of us must be a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1).

As followers of Jesus, we need to be “snugged up,” tightened up, firmed up in our knowledge of the Word of God and in our relationship with Jesus. Otherwise, we will be all wobbly and unable to carry out the job to which He has called us.

Photo by Martin Dufosset on Unsplash

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