Mick’s Memo – Due Diligence
In his letter to the believers in Rome, before he had ever visited them, the Apostle Paul gave a comprehensive explanation of the truths he believed and taught; as found in chapters 1-11. His letter then pivoted on an appeal for believers to offer themselves as “living sacrifices” by refusing to be “conformed” and submitting to being “transformed” in thinking and actions (Romans 12:1,2). The remainder of this amazing letter explains the process. We find a key exhortation about life in the body of Christ soon after his appeal…
For just as in one body we have many members, and not all the members serve the same function, 5 so we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually we are members who belong to one another. 6 And we have different gifts according to the grace given to us. If the gift is prophecy, that individual must use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is service, he must serve; if it is teaching, he must teach; 8 if it is exhortation, he must exhort; if it is contributing, he must do so with sincerity; if it is leadership, he must do so with diligence; if it is showing mercy, he must do so with cheerfulness. Romans 12:4-8 (NIV)
It describes the church and the individuals called to it. It says we have diverse functions and gifts determined by God’s grace and sovereign choice. We “belong to one another” even as we belong to Jesus who paid for us with His life. We need one another. We are vulnerable to self-deception, we withhold our contribution and we are without the support of others when we live as “lone ranger” Christians. We are meant to willingly and actively use our gifts and efforts. With each gift he provides an adverbial description of how to employ them. I was struck by the word “diligence” when reading this. It challenges me as a person with leadership responsibilities. I think it could also be applied to any use of gifts or resources God has given for the benefit of His kingdom. What does “diligence” look like? Let me suggest some traits. When we’re diligent…
We engage…Passivity and apathy can be tempting. We may feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of needs and emotionally spent. It’s tempting to give in to despair and disconnect. The Lord calls us to trust that when we offer our best, engage with our resources and those of the rest of the body of Christ, we have amazing redemptive potential.
We learn…We are all in process, regardless of our age. The problems and challenges are always changing. Diligence means growing and refocusing our skills and knowledge.
We adapt…Surroundings change, our network of relationships has a carousel of people joining, leaving and altering their places in our lives. We appreciate the perspectives of others and seek to incorporate them. We find ourselves playing new roles. We see needs that have been taken care of some other way in the past that now need us to take part. Someone comes forward who can do something we have been doing to release to something else. Adapting to surroundings and valuing others’ ideas is an intentional choice that contributes to diligent service to the Lord.
I want to thank all who took part in our survey last week. I believe the Lord can give us insights from all levels of involvement here and that having some “fresh perspective” from The Center can lead to more fruitful service.
We will be continuing our series in Hebrews 11 this weekend. If the storm should come our way, we will provide information on any changes in plans through Channel 9 news and our website. As always, we urge caution if you have any doubt about braving the weather.
Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!