I tend to give sarcastic answers whenever someone asks me a stupid question. My siblings are especially good at this. No matter how insignificant the question is, if it has an obvious answer, I have to give a sarcastic remark.
My siblings ask questions like that all the time, and nearly every time I can’t bite back a cynical reply. However, there are other questions that I find myself even more annoyed at. Today, my sister and brother were arguing, because they couldn’t find the movie we had rented from the Video Hut, and both were convinced that the other had moved it somewhere. One was yelling, “I just put it there, on the counter! You moved it! Yes, you did!” The other was yelling, “No, I didn’t even touch it! Why are you blaming me?” My mum found it by the TV, where neither had put it. The first sibling’s immediate question was, “Who moved it?” You could tell, she was going to be angry with whoever had moved it there. The only thing I could think of, was, “Why does it matter?” We had found the movie, was that not good enough? Was it really that important to know who had moved it in the first place?
Again, that’s just a straightforward example of a meaningless question- in my opinion, a waste of breath. But there are other questions being asked, I see them all over the internet, and they make me want to rip out my hair in frustration! (Figuratively speaking, of course.)
I hear people at my church asking, “How many people do we have altogether attending, now?” But I don’t hear people asking, “How effective is our Prayer Room?” or, “Has there been any attempt from our church leaders to go out into the homes in the community and meet people one-on-one?” or, “Are we reaching the lost teenagers in our youth groups?” Instead, people are concerned with numbers.
I hear people asking, “How much money do we have in our funds?” I don’t hear them asking, “Is that missionary family in Southeast Asia getting enough support?” or, “Is there a way we could donate more?” or, “Is anyone in our church needy, but not asking for help?” or, “Are we giving all we can?” Instead, they’re concerned with how much money we have.
At school I hear people asking, “When are we going to get a new school?” It’s not often that I hear people asking, “How can we raise money and excitement for our school’s sponsor child?” Or, “How can we inspire a school-wide revival?” Instead, we want a building.
Please understand, that those are all important things… but there are more important things that we need to start focusing on. Why be concerned with congregation numbers, when there will always be more people in the world that aren’t coming to our church? It’s a lost cause- will there ever be a satisfactory number? Let’s stop worrying about it, because strength doesn’t come from numbers in God’s kingdom. Gideon’s army of 300 men conquered the Midianites and Amalekites, whose armies were described as being as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore. (Judges 7) It’s God who gives us strength, not size.
Why worry about the money in our funds? Yes, it is important, and yes, we need money. Or do we? Have we come to so heavily rely on money that we forget that God is sovereign through it all? Jesus told the rich young ruler to give everything he had to the poor, for then He would store up treasures in Heaven. God doesn’t want to harm us and make us die of starvation, but He does want us to sacrifice what He has given us for Him, who sacrificed Himself for us. I think that new sound system at our church can wait. It is NOT important! Would it be nice? Yes. Would it make life easier? Yes. Is it necessary? No . . . .
How about the question of a new school? It’s exciting stuff, for sure! My concern is that we have no guarantee that we will ever see a new school. It may happen, it may not. Nobody knows. Nobody knows the day or the hour when Christ will return. Why spend our time thinking about a mere building that may or may not come into place in approximately two years? The earth might not even live until then! But I know who will be living then… everyone in our school. They are all eternal beings, but not all of them will be spending eternity in Heaven, at this rate. Don’t you think the redemption of their souls is more important than a new building? I do.
So what questions are we asking that maybe we should stop worrying about? Let’s start attacking the questions that matter. The questions that will make a dent in history, the ones that will matter for eternity. I can tell you this for a fact: whether we had 75 or 300 people in our church will not matter in 50 years. Whether we had $100,000 or $100,000,000 will not have any worth in God’s eyes, but what we do with that money, will. Whether we had the nicest building ever, or the dingiest, dirtiest shack as a school… someday, they both will be nonexistent. But what we did to change someone’s life around for the better, the love we showed toward those who were hurting, the sacrifice we made for Jesus, who we claim to love more than our possessions… those will matter. Those will count.
Are we storing up treasure in heaven? That, my friend, is the question.