Convenient Christianity

“…And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place; 4 and to them he said, `You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’…” (Matthew 20:3-4)

There was a time when the employment status of a person was classified as only either active or retired. Today, there is an emerging third class: semi-retired.

What exactly does this mean?

That you work only when you feel like it?

That you determine the days of the week when you report to your office?

That you simply act as consultant to your previous company?

Now, I know that semi-retired employees are now widely accepted in the corporate world. Unfortunately, many people try to bring this concept into their spirituality.

There are many self-proclaimed “semi-retired” Christians out there.

Their favorite motto is “Been there, done that”.

Their favorite expression is “When I feel like it”.

Their favorite excuse is “Let the newer church/community members do it. It’s now their turn.”

They evangelize only when they feel like it. They witness only when the occasion presents itself. They serve only when it is convenient.

Oh you know they are not retired. You see them around. They still serve. They still witness once in a while. They evangelize when they can. They still sing in the choir. But that’s that. The fire is put out. The zeal is gone. They call themselves semi-retired. To me, I would classify them as those who have fallen into a spiritual disease called convenient Christianity.

They serve, witness, evangelize only when convenient.

Lest you accuse me of berating those among us who are elderly, let me say that falling into convenient Christianity has very little to do with age but everything to do with attitude.

In my community, the Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon, our senior citizens are part of a ministry called Nuggets of Wisdom (N.O.W.). Even in their old age, they continue to meet, pray, evangelize and witness for Jesus. Arthritis is not an excuse. A failing eyesight is not a justification. Diabetes is not a reason not to go all out for Jesus. And rightly so. For God never wants Christians to be idle.

In today’s Gospel parable, Jesus talks of a rich landlord who goes out into the marketplace to hire those who are idle to work in his vineyard:

“…And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place; 4 and to them he said, `You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’…” (Matthew 20:3-4)

 Save perhaps for those who are on their deathbeds, all Christians never semi-retire from being one. Christianity is not a job they keep or a title they hold. It is their lifestyle.

You may be seventy years old or seventeen years old. If you’re a Christian, make sure you are not semi-retired. Keep loving, praying, healing, witnessing, and evangelizing for God’s kingdom.

And before you know it, eternal retirement is just a hearbeat away.

Staying in the game,

Bobby Q.

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