Why are we doing good works? Is it because we are workaholics? Is it because we have things to prove to our fellow Christian brothers and sisters? Or is because we do good works, because it makes God happy?
Sometimes in life we all need to step back and take a good look at the bigger picture. What’s the big picture for those who believe in Jesus Christ? Its simply this, am I spending time loving the Lord God instead of only being bothered about good works?
Here a lesson from the Gospel about Mary and Martha:
38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:38-42)
Do take note in the above verses in which Martha was doing good works in serving Jesus but her sister Mary (also these both were the sisters of Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead) was paying more attention to Jesus and listening to His Word. Martha had every reason to complain about Mary not helping her serving Jesus. However Jesus didn’t condemn Mary not Martha on this. But he showed Martha that she needed to get her priorities right towards the Lord. What could be this priority? Its that spending time with the Lord God with his Holy Word matters much more than doing good works serving the same Lord God. Don’t get me wrong, but Jesus never told Martha that the service she was doing was a sin or evil but rather he let her know not to get troubled in doing so much good that she forgets to wait on Him.
Verses to reflect on:
- Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)
- Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. (Isaiah 45:22)
- But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)
“The spirit of prayer is for all times and occasions; it is a lamp that is to be always burning, a light to be ever shining: everything calls for it; everything is to be done in it and governed by it, because it is and means and wills nothing else but the totality of the soul – not doing this or that, but wholly given up to God to be where and what and how He pleases.” – William Law
Notice, we never pray for folks we gossip about, and we never gossip about the folk for whom we pray! For prayer is a great deterrent. (Leonard Ravenhill)
Let us thank God heartily as often as we pray that we have His Spirit in us to teach us to pray. Thanksgiving will draw our hearts out to God and keep us engaged with Him; it will take our attention from ourselves and give the Spirit room in our hearts. (Andrew Murray)
Disclaimer: I do not support nor condone child sexual abuse nor paedophile activities. This is not a legal document and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. This article does not say all church goers are child abusers and paedophiles. This article does not say all church preachers and ministers are child abusers and paedophiles. Remember that child abuse takes place all over the world by even non Christians.
All praise to the Lord Jesus, who said that unless we become like little children we won’t enter the kingdom of heaven. For Jesus desires that we become trustful of God like how young children trust their parents. I pray for the safety and well being of all children in the church and those not in the church too. Amen.
Here are a few to reduce or eliminate child molestation and paedophilia in your local church:
- Never leave children unattended with non family members for too long behind closed doors or restricted spaces.
- Take personal responsibility to ask your children how was their time at church with other people. Try to observe any undue silence by your child and keep asking more questions if needed.
- Respect the innocence and safety of other people’s children like how you would do for you own.
- Have zero tolerance towards any acts of child molestation in your church.
- Have zero tolerance towards all case of paedophilia even if the child was seduced into giving his or her consent willingly.
- Each and every complaint of child molestation can and must be investigated immediately both by church and law enforcement.
- All church members trying to obstruct investigation or hide evidence must be treated as collaborators with the crime. And they must be reported both to the law enforcement and state or city level church authorities.
- An open atmosphere where well being of children must be maintained everywhere in the church.
- If the parents of the victim are cowardly, then other responsible adults should come forward to the help the victim register the complaint. However, this should be done very carefully. As parents can be pressured by the abuser to file counter complaints saying that you instigated their children to file a false case. So in this regard try to get a secure record, preferably on video in which the child mentions that he or she is giving the complaint of their own free will without any force from your end.
- All church members who are adults must be educated to have regard for their children of the church and not ignore their cries for help or tears especially in church.
- People must be made aware that no one in the church must be allowed to neither molest nor seduce children, no matter what rank, gender or social standing that the perpetrator has. This applies to even non Christians who enter or are associated with the church.
- No exemptions for anyone or any group who doesn’t want their names to be reported to law enforcement in cases of child molestation or paedophilia.
- The burden to safeguard children should not be left to women only. Even the men of the family and the church should help the children in such cases.
- All false alarms and false complaints must be investigated and reported to the authorities. However, care must be taken not to generalize all the future complaints as hoaxes but be diligent instead.
- Do not treat every adult as a suspect as this will allow the actual criminals to escape action by the police and church authorities. So in this regard, have a clear understanding of the consequences of your actions.
- Do no falsely assume like the heathen that each church is filled with paedophiles, and go on a punishing spree. Instead be cordial and polite to all church.
- Do not allow any person accused of paedophilia, to get a transfer nor flee the area where the accusation was made. Involve the police in such cases without hesitation. Do note, that these vile people ie the paedophiles may be very dangerous, so exercise due diligence at all times.
- Your local church must have a written document about how the church and its members deal with instances of child molestation and paedophilia. This should specify as to what is defined as child abuse, the course of action to give justice and also how to given relief and welfare to the child. This document should then be reviewed by valid legal experts and law enforcement for any updating that is needed. This document should be available to anyone on demand without any reason being asked for.
- If your local church doesn’t have any such written document approach your preacher or church elders. If they claim they are not interested or don’t have the authority, then ask them to give a written and signed copy of their statements or you record their statements via audio or video devices. And in such cases, keep asking for higher authorities or supervisors who can arrange for the documents and record every statement of their reluctance. This would be useful as a record of the church’s unwillingness to safeguard children’s well being, in case of any unfortunate event of child abuse in that church, which you can submit to the relevant law enforcement.
- This is the most overlooked thing but do pray for children to have safe and pleasant experiences in the church and everywhere. And pray really well at this. Keep in mind that prayer alone is not substitute for personal responsibility and right action.
- Prayer for deliverance of children from child molestors (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- PRAYER: How to Pray for Protection (stephaniespeakson.wordpress.com)
- Reading the news for prayer needs
- Preventing child sexual abuse (preventchildabuse.org)
- Preventing Child Sexual Abuse – How to reduce this risk in your church (www.churchlawandtax.com)