By Ron Thomas
I recently heard a horror story within a congregation of the Lord’s people. There were children to be taught, but there was no teacher. A genuine horror story, if you ask me. You don’t think that’s a horror story? Think about it. Congregations desire children to come, so they plan and prepare for teachers, have the teachers in place, but for one reason or another the teacher or teachers can’t be there. The children come, but there is no teacher to teach them.
What happened? Sickness? Travel? Whatever it might be, a most discouraging sentiment expressed, or something like it, would be “It’s not my job!” Maybe someone might say, “I was not assigned to teach that age group, so why should I be expected to teach them?” How about this, “I am not comfortable with that age group; my personality just does not work.” Even another one, “I am not a teacher!” You get the point.
Yes, I know; we have heard it a thousand times, in various contexts, “It’s not my job!” Sometimes it is said with emphasis, sometimes it is said softly.
In the local restaurant, the head grill-master is unable to tend to his duties because he is sick; no one present has been taught to do his work, but one who is the deep-fryer on the food line. The manager asks her to help, but she refuses because she does not want to be embarrassed, humiliated, and she wants no grief from others because she could not keep up. We all appreciate those sentiments for sure. Because she would not, the frontline of the restaurant collapses. She can say, however, it was not her job.
A principal of a local school is hard pressed to get a substitute teacher to fill in for one who called in with a virus that will keep her down for days. None of the other teachers will fill in because they are not trained in the area she teaches, or they have a heavy workload of their own and cannot spare the time to help. The students flounder and are frustrated, they begin to be disruptive in other areas, but all the teachers fill justified in refusing because their own circumstances.
A soldier is in the field. His unit is on the verge of being overrun by the enemy. As a rifleman, he refuses to man the machine-gun (whatever reason or reasons he concocts in his head). His unit in no longer on the verge of being overrun, now they all lay spread out on the ground having entered eternity.
Perhaps I have amplified scenarios that are not really the case, but have I really?
There is not much good in those who use such expressions or actions to justify not doing something that needs to be done. If it needs to be done, the Lord’s servant will do it; if it needs to be done, those who have a sense of moral and spiritual duty will do it. So, instead of making use of such an expression, please, for the sake of the children, for the Lord’s cause, say it is your job. If you won’t, why should others expect to count on you for help in difficult circumstances when you wouldn’t in this one?
- Ron Thomas preacher for the Sunrush Church of Christ, Chillicothe, OH. He may be contacted through the congregation's website. http://sunrushchurchofchrist.com/