Vol.XVI No.VII Pg.3
September 1979

Making Something Of It

Dan S. Shipley

Back in my growing-up days, when teen-age boys had fusses it was not unusual to hear the expression, "Ya wanna make sumpthin' uh-vit?" Usually, somebody did, and the conflict started. It has been my observation that most of the conflict between grown-ups (including Christians) begins in much the same way — when somebody wants to "make something of it".

Not that some things don't need to have something made of them, to be sure. When sin is in the camp, it is not a time for the Corinthian like silence that suggests approval. In the proper spirit and manner, it is time for the faithful to make something of such a situation. When false doctrine is being taught among us, it is time for making something of it. When we become lazy, complacent and indifferent about serving the Lord, we need someone around to wake us up (Eph. 5:14) — and to make something of it. In fact, to sit idly by at such times becomes as wrong as that which is tolerated. No doubt, the Lord's cause has been hurt immeasurably by compromising Christians who would not make something of sin and error among them.

However, there is another — and perhaps as equally hurtful side to be considered. It is the practice of making something big over little or nothing. For instance, serious problems among brethren can sometimes be traced back to trifles — such as an imagined or unintentional slight. Failure to speak or to shake a hand may be misconstrued in a dozen ways — all bad. And regrettably, some seem disposed to finding little mole hills from which they can make mountains of trouble. Such "pickiness" may seem a small thing, but its effects on the Lord's work have been devastating.

Few Bible class teachers have escaped the "shots" of the picky sniper. Make a statement that may possibly be taken the wrong way and he will — and may even quit the class because of the "false teaching" being done. He sees any emphasis on faith as minimizing works and vice versa. He may view an honest inquiry into a controversial subject as "softness" or compromise — and advertise it accordingly. He may discourage the teacher, disrupt the class and distract other students, but he is bound and determined to make something of it!

Further, the frailties of the flesh make most of us easy targets for those disposed to make something of it. We say things we should not, we often express ourselves poorly, we complain, we criticize, we forget and we neglect. Now we may need help, but we don't need to have our weaknesses and mistakes exploited by imperfect nit-picking brethren! When we stumble — and we will — what we need is a merciful hand extended from a compassionate heart. And that's what every Christian should be willing to give. To do otherwise is to dishonor the One we claim to follow and jeopardize our own soul. Don't miss the point. Sin must be dealt with as noted earlier — but we are never at liberty to deal with sin in a sinful way. When we set out to make something of it, whatever it is, let's try to make it better!