It was a scorching hot 105 degree day and the teenager was as relentless as the sun beating down upon their brow. “Why do I have to cut the grass at the church building, Dad? The grass is not that long. It looks fine. It’ll be good until next week. It’s super hot outside. Can’t we just skip it this week?” The father calmly sat his son down in the shade.
“First, but not most important, is that you need to understand that just because you think something is fine doesn’t mean it is fine. Your prejudice, not wanting to cut the grass, is influencing the way you are looking at it. It’s influencing your perspective and your perspective affects your attitude and your attitude affects your work and your commitment.” (I Thessalonians 4:11)
“Second, if it doesn’t get done this week it’ll be harder for the person doing it next week because it’ll be taller. Do you know who volunteered next week?” “No, sir.” “Brother Senior Citizen! And next week it’s forecast to be just as hot as this week. Do you want Brother Senior Citizen to have to work twice as hard because you skipped your responsibility? Think about if you were a Senior Citizen and a teenage kid, instead of helping you out, actually made your work harder; how would you feel about that? When we are making decisions of what to do, we have to think about others and not just ourselves.” (Matthew 7:12)
“Third, what if everybody made excuses every week to not do their part in getting the grass cut or the church building clean, etc.? How would this place end up looking? If you can make an excuse to not do what you can, what you are able to do, then why can’t everybody else? And what effect would that have on this church?” (I Corinthians 5:6)
“Fourth, it advertises to every driver that drives by and sees you cutting the grass that ‘They Care’. And whenever they are going through tough times or they are searching for the Lord, perhaps they’ll remember you out cutting the grass in 105 degree weather and think, ‘If they care that much about the grass, imagine how much they might care about my soul!’ Cutting the grass shows that you care.” (Luke 16:10)
“And lastly, and this is the most important, you need to do it because you said you were going to do it. It’s a matter of integrity; of keeping your word. Way more important than the grass itself, is your character. You need to be a hard worker, honest, trustworthy… a man of your word. If you won’t keep your word about cutting the grass, about fulfilling your duty for something so simple, then how can you be trusted with those matters that are of much greater importance.” (Matthew 5:37)
“So, there’s five reasons you need to cut the grass. How many reasons do you need?” “Only one”, said the boy with surety.
There will always be excuses not to work. We only need one reason to work. One reason will conquer a million excuses. What about matters of work in the Lord’s kingdom like service, leadership, hospitality, evangelizing, etc.? We will always have excuses at the ready to not do any of those valuable works, but we only need one reason. God has created us for love and good works in His kingdom. (Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 10:23) Christianity, living our faith, it is not just about what we don’t do (“Thou shalt not…”), it’s also about (perhaps even more so) what we choose to do!
When you look at your work and service in the Lord’s church; do you find yourself making more excuses than being motivated by reasons? Hopefully, no matter how many excuses you ever make to not work, you always remember the best reason to work (participate)… because the Lord loves you, and you love the Lord.(Titus 2:11-14)