•  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
The child of God must be useful, though usefulness as such is not his aim. In nature none of us is so prone to work and to deny ourselves that we need much caution against being too useful. What we need is to have work put in its right place. Is there not now rather a tendency to look on folded hands, as the necessary accompaniment of a spiritual heart? Mary’s hands were not folded, on the contrary they were busy wiping His feet with that which was “her glory.”
Where are the feet of Christ now over which we are to pour our offerings of time, money, love, and sympathy? On every side of us, in countless numbers, the poor and needy members of His body. Is Christ precious to us? Then we will, we must be blessedly useful. We cannot help it, unless somehow we have become useless on principle.
Are there not children to be taught the way of the Lord, the naked to be clothed, the hungry to be fed, the sick to be visited, the sorrowful to be comforted, sinners to be saved, and are we doing nothing?
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Eccl. 9:1010Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Ecclesiastes 9:10)). Let us not be waiting all our lives for the Lord to show us His path of service. Let us begin with the small things that lie clearly before us, and when He sees we are willing, He will soon show us more.
O, do not let us allow ourselves to play with His work! Remember it is for our Master. We must not take it up today, and drop it tomorrow, nor use our liberty for our own ease, but go on steadily, in patient, plodding, self-denying, flesh-mortifying, work for Him. If we do this we shall meet with many discouragements from our fellow-Christians. We may perhaps get many rebuffs even from those among whom we work, but we shall get His smile whom we seek to serve, and His “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” to crown our labors.
O let us beware of weakening the hands of others, or of turning any feet out of a path of service. There may be much that is done in a wrong way, there may be much fleshly zeal, but let us always seek, while pointing out what is wrong, to encourage, not to discourage; to strengthen, not to weaken. It is one thing to direct zeal, another to check it, and these are days when every Christian ought to be in deep earnest, seeking to win souls for Christ and seeking to do good unto all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. It has been observed that those who are busy in finding fault are seldom true workmen themselves, for the spirit among all true fellow-workmen tends ever to mutual strengthening and help, never to hindering or weakening one another.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:5858Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58)).