“And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?” Deuteronomy 10:12-13
“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:10-12
Many years ago, a woman told me she and her husband quit serving God, and quit going to church, because they were burned out from all the serving they were doing and upset and disappointed that nobody else in their estimate anyway seemed to be serving Him at the church they attended. I didn’t think much of it until I began to see a pattern over the years. And until the pattern I saw hit close to home. Time and again, I saw people serving God burn out from going to extremes in serving Him while many people around them did virtually nothing if anything at all to serve the Lord. They probably would have given just about anything to have co-laborers in serving Him, but oftentimes they had more on their shoulders than they could possibly bear because others were not stepping forward to help in serving God. Some became too exhausted to continue. Others took a break then continued. Some pushed on anyway, their bodies and health weakening at times. And some just flat out quit. Why? Here was the pattern I saw. They became so angry, bitter, resentful, and self-pitying because so many others were not serving God but simply carrying on with and enjoying their lives that they stormed angrily, bitterly, resentfully, self-pityingly – and pridefully away. Judging and condemning those not serving. They quit serving God. I was not merely a spectator in all this. I found my own heart filled with all of this sin. Whose sin? The sin of those who refused to serve God? No! My own! I didn’t quit, but I needed a wake-up call. God led me to repentance.
God commands us to love and serve Him with all our hearts, and if we truly love Him, we will obey Him, and we will long to serve Him in our love for Him. He wants us to serve Him with gladness (Psalm 100:2) not bitterness. His command to love and serve Him is NOT contingent on what others are or are not doing, and we will stand before Him one day and have to give an account of OUR lives not others’. As for others, we need to love and forgive them, and humbly in Christ’s name be a role model to them of lovingly, thankfully, passionately serve the Lord!