Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.
Chuck Swindoll once told a story from when he was a staff member at another church. He said, “I was having lunch with a friend one day, and during the conversation he asked if I could join him on a particular trip as a speaker with his organization. I replied that I would be delighted to do that, but first I would have to check with my spiritual leader, to ask his opinion of the organization I would be associating with.
“Well, this opened up a Pandora’s Box. My friend expressed in no uncertain terms his disapproval at a grown man having to do that sort of thing. He pitied me. To him the idea of being in submission to anyone was unthinkable.
“So I asked him, ‘Who watches for your soul as those who must give an account? Who loves you and has your best interest at heart? Who prays for you and counsels you and objectively seeks God’s best for you? Who does that for you?’”
The man said, “No one.”
“Then don’t pity me,” Chuck said, “for being under the authority of another. You are the one to be pitied, not I. Those who watch out for my soul are among the greatest heritages in the world. I’m to be envied, not pitied.”
In our American individualistic society, we think, “All I need is just me and my relationship with God. That is enough; I do not need other people.” No, a relationship with God is not enough. It is important, but God Himself said that it is not good for humans to be alone (Genesis 2:18). He created us to be in community. As Christians, we need one another. That is why God created the church. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.”
Not only do you need other Christians to encourage you and hold you accountable, but you also need spiritual leaders. You need somebody who cares about you, somebody watching out for you, somebody who will correct you if you wander away. If you do not have somebody watching out for your soul, get under the authority of the spiritual leaders at a local church. Their authority over you is meant to be not a hindrance but a help, not a roadblock but a blessing.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How To Treat Your Next Pastor” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org