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Monday, March 29, 2021

Quick and Easy

By Joe Chesser

    While I was glancing at the books in my library I noticed a book by Dale Carnegie, The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking.  Why did I purchase such a book?  It’s because I am like most everyone else in our society.  We all love shortcuts, we all crave “quick and easy” ways of doing things.  Why do you think there are so many fast food restaurants and so many choices in the frozen food sections at the grocery stores?  Why do you think the bookstores are filled with “quick and easy” solutions to almost everything imaginable, from making money to woodworking, from losing weight to raising kids?  Come on, be honest, you are drawn to the magazines in the check-out aisles that offer “quick and easy” solutions to getting in shape or building relationships or preparing dinner, aren’t you?  We all are.  That’s the American way.  We want it “quick and easy”, and are willing to spend millions of dollars to find out how!
    So it’s not surprising that people want “quick and easy” solutions to their spiritual needs, too.  We love to just say a quick prayer to get anything we want.  We love to just repeat the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved forever.  We love to pay a little money to hire someone else to do our spiritual work for us.  I hate to be the one to burst your bubble, but there’s nothing “quick and easy” about being saved or growing to spiritual maturity.
    We shouldn’t be surprised. There was nothing “quick and easy” about God’s plan for saving us.  Once Adam and Eve sinned, God set in motion His plan for redeeming us, but it took thousands of years to develop the nation of Israel before Jesus became flesh.  It took around 30 years for Jesus to get ready to begin His ministry.  It took over three years for Him to teach His disciples and get ready for the cross.  Even then it took the filling of the Holy Spirit to get the disciples to understand what Jesus was all about.  Spiritual growth and understanding takes time, lots of time.
    Just ask the Christians to whom the book of Hebrews was written.  The writer wanted to discuss some things that were difficult to explain, but, because of their spiritual immaturity, he couldn’t (Hebrews 5:11).  What is not stated in the text is that many of these people had been Christians for as many as 30 years, and yet still needed to be fed with milk, not solid food (Hebrews 5:12). Just because they had been Christians a long time did not guarantee maturity.  The writer concluded, “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14).  Note the words “constant” and “trained.”  Both words indicate an extended period of time.
    If you want to become a spiritually mature Christian, you’ll have to ditch any idea that this will be a “quick and easy” process.  It will require constant study of the scriptures. It will require learning how to use what you learn with the spiritual wisdom that God gives (Colossians 1:9).  But you can do it, because God has promised to help.
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted at joeandareva@yahoo.com


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