“The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.”
I sit at home (in these wonderful Ozarks), amongst other people with the same notions and beliefs that I have. I am not challenged; I am not asked, in any way, to sacrifice for my belief. But there are people all over this country who are suffering in the slavery of their sin. We are fortunate that we know what Christ said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest”, but many don’t know it. What good does that statement do when the slave doesn’t comprehend his bonds?
Those who were physical chattel (property), under the cruelty and misguided intentions of some, prior to the Civil War, understood what slavery truly is. They knew the desperation, the depredation and the dire nature of slavery. Not a single one of those people, when they came to understand the freedom that they could have, would have wanted to remain chained. Well, that’s not exactly true. There are always some who either harden their hearts to freedom or turn an eye that is blind either willfully or through ignorance. Unfortunately, there are too many people laboring under misconceptions about God. They bask in willful slavery to sin due to convenience, comfort and ignorance.
Christ went on to say, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29, 30). Why do people allow thoughts of slavery to become so commonplace and comfortable that they think there is no better way? When the Jews were crossing the wilderness, they thought this way. Several times they asked to be taken back to the bondage of Egypt. Many people today would much rather have the bondage of Egypt than the freedom of Christ.
We, as Christians, are abolitionists with the truth and the ability to tell people about the free grace of God. They may already know the story and ignore it because they think slavery is easier, but it is our job to explain reality. With the leading of the Holy Spirit, the Bible provides the means to explain in such a way that they can no longer deny the beauty and freedom of the truth.
I want to divest myself of the notion that people who do not agree with me, whether near or far away, are just wrong and destined for hell. A definition of the word divest is to “rid oneself of something that one no longer wants or requires.” The example under this definition is “It appears easier to carry on in the business than to divest.” It is easier for the entrenched non-Christian to carry on as if nothing was wrong than it is to divest themselves of their sin. It is easier for the comfortable Christian to carry on with his ease than it is to divest himself of that comfort and carry on the work of God.
I want to be constant in Christ, courageous in Christ, caring in Christ, but never comfortable in Christ. Comfort puts me in mind of the Laodiceans to whom Christ said, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were either cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” (Revelation 3:15,16). I pray that I will no longer be a Laodicean; I pray that I will no longer be comfortable with my Christianity. I want my intentions and my actions to match.