Vol.XV No.XII Pg.3
February 1979

Neglected Corridors

Dan S. Shipley

In his popular book, The Making Of A Surgeon, Dr. William Nolen, in describing the hospital where he spent his internship, tells of a certain corridor that was generally avoided by him and his associates. Though it was a convenient short-cut to a much visited area, this particular corridor was dimly lit, cold, dank, and depressingly gloomy — an atmosphere not enhanced by the presence of an occasional corpse being temporarily stored there. All in all, it was an area easily avoided, even when the alternate route meant more and unsheltered walking.

It occurs to me that the Christian is often confronted with "corridors" something like that — the kind that are easily avoided because of their unpleasantness. If such disagreeable corridors could be identified with wall placards such as used on hospital wards, one would surely read, "Unfaithful Christians". Few churches are without their weak and indifferent members. And all to often, the neglectful become the neglected — merely because many of their brethren find it personally distasteful to talk with them about their spiritual welfare. Oh, we can talk with them about other subjects; we can talk about them; we can even assume they wouldn't listen, but these are little more than alternate routes to avoid the unpleasant corridor. Surely God's people will not allow pride and selfishness to subordinate the needs of weak brethren to their own personal tastes! Bearing one another's burdens (Gal. 6:2) is what pleases God, and, therefore, should never be made contingent on what pleases me.

Another generally avoided corridor, if labeled, would read: "Personal Evangelism". To my way of thinking the work of teaching the lost is one of the most urgent and most neglected responsibilities facing Christians. Relatively few relate themselves to this work in any significant way — for too many, it is an untravelled corridor. God's simple, yet effective plan calls for faithful men to teach others (2 Tim. 2:2). Apparently, many early Christians did just that (Acts 8:4); souls were saved and the church grew. When we quit emphasizing what we can't do and what we think others won't do; when we quit worrying about being embarrassed or rejected and when we start getting concerned about lost souls enough to teach them publicly and from house to house (Acts 20:20), THEN we will grow both individually and collectively! We MUST get the gospel to the lost! — At least we must TRY! And we must quit avoiding the open doors and opportunities about us. There is the very real possibility that the very one we avoid may be the one with the "honest and good heart". Anyway, ALL have priceless souls that we should be concerned about. We cannot follow Christ and neglect them.

Finally, if we have found ourselves to be avoiding such corridors, there is yet another we should consider — and possibly the most important. It is the nearest. It is self. It too is a much-avoided area. Yet, God bids us to examine ourselves (2 Cor. 13:5). Neglecting this encourages neglecting the others (and vice versa). However, facing up to self with a view toward improvement can bring us through many faith-testing corridors.