Vol.VIII No.IX Pg.3
November 1971

Dont Blame The Job!

Dan S. Shipley

Jobs dont have futures, people do. I dont know who said it, but it is certainly a thought - provoking and sense-making statement. The point is, success and failure lie mostly with the individual and not so much with his kind of employment. Most of us can think of those who have failed with golden opportunities and the most favorable of circumstances — and of others who have succeeded eminently where opportunity appeared meager. The very job in which one makes outstanding achievement has been the scapegoat for anothers failure. The difference is in the man.

The difference is in the man in the spiritual realm too. It is not unusual to hear of Christians blaming the job for some of their own failures. For instance, when churches do not grow or when the membership declines, it is because the meeting— place is in a poor location or insufficient parking space. While such things could be a contributing factor it may be well to take an unbiased look at the man too (remembering that circumstances are often blamed for mans failures). Unless the members are dedicated, hard-working, involved and zealous it is not likely that another location or more parking space will solve their problem. I fear that we may have placed too much emphasis on such externals; even to the point depending on them —and / or blaming them. Many small, financially burdened churches have learned the hard way that a new and modern meeting house is no guarantee of growth. Dead churches do need a change, but it must come from within; with a renewal of mind (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23). Others blame the job by insisting that no one will listen to the gospel anymore, so they dont spread it. Sure enough, they dont convert anyone — and their premise is proved?? The only thing worse than a world lost and dying in sin is Christians who are Unconcerned about it. To too many Christians the work of committing the gospel to others is just a job without much of a future — failing to see themselves as Christians without much of a future.

Absolutely nothing can take the place of individual effort and initiative by consecrated saints. The primary need is not for better jobs but for better men to do the job God wants done here. There is little profit in lamenting over what cant be done, or over what could be done if we had more members, if we had a full-time preacher, if we met in a better location, or if we had a larger contribution. IF we are not doing the best we can with what we have where we are, then why do we need anything more?

The faithful are little affected by circumstances and situations which help or hinder others. They always see the fields that are white Unto harvest. They dont succumb to the problems, discouragements and obstacles that are bound to come wherever they might be. They seek for opportunities, not excuses; for a better self, not for a better job. They appreciate the fact that God has furnished them completely unto every good work (2 Tim. 3:17). Their only need is for like-minded brethren to help do the job.