Service/Accountability Series: Part 2 – Differences Can Strengthen?
A Parable: There was a Christian brother, Ralph, who loved to serve his brethren, always taking time to invite another Christian over for a meal, slipping anonymously money to a brother in need, helping to baby-sit for a young Christian couple so they could preserve their marriage, etc. Although his motives were pure, with time and continual giving, Ralph found himself experiencing “burn out”. Wanting to give, he found nothing left inside of him. Recognizing his hurt and his needs, he became depressed.
One person he couldn’t understand, in fact felt repulsed by, was another Christian brother, Tim, who was rather young in the Lord, but was always evangelizing. All Ralph could see was dropped gospel tracks that now littered the street from the point where this young man had handed them to people the whole way to the end of the block. Tim seemed not to care about what people thought of him nor the trail of litter as he would confront people openly about where they stood with their relationship to God or where they would go upon death. In fact Ralph thought Tim could be quite obnoxious. Didn’t he know what image he portrayed of the Christian life?
In his ingrained drive to give as part of his Christian walk, Ralph decided to invite Tim to dine with him, which he accepted. While talking over the meal, the young evangelist poured out his passion for the lost; how every moment another person could die and be lost from the wonderful eternal relationship one could have with God through Jesus Christ. When asked, what he does with young converts, he stood flabbergast. He did not know how to answer. Ralph opened up to tell this young evangelist how he loves new converts too, for his passion is to serve them and help them “walk out this new found faith in Jesus”. “They are new babes in Jesus,” he chimed, “and I want to walk by their sides just as Jesus did with his disciples.”
“Wow,” the young evangelist gasped. “You are awesome. I wish I could do that, but I am driven to save the lost, so I do not have time to disciple them. You know what? I need you, the Body of Christ, the Church needs you, or all those babes I birthed will leave the Church and could even die. As an evangelist I do not want to see anyone perish, especially these babes in Christ.”
All of a sudden Ralph realized that he was receiving hope, encouragement, and worth from this young evangelist. Most new Christians are enthusiastic, and an evangelistic spirit brings newness, hope, and new birth. Ralph reached out his hand to his fellow evangelistic brother and said, “Tim, we need each other. What can I do to help you and those who you are help birthing. What do you need personally?”
Two kindred spirits, though vastly different, were grafted that day: the newness of the new-birth that an evangelist can give and the caring that a pastoral shepherd can give. They discovered they could give from their strengths to shore up the other’s weaknesses. This bonding of giving to one another and receiving from the other strengthened and vitalized both believers.