This week I finally took the time to sort and mail all of the wonderful cards of encouragement that you sent to women during the holidays. I was possibly the woman who was encouraged most of all because I now know that you are out there, you are reading and you really do care about our great sisterhood. There were stacks of this mail and it was a bit reminiscent of the courtroom scene on “Miracle on 34th Street.” It made me really believe. Of course, it wasn’t about Santa Claus, but it made me believe in our power, as God’s women to bring glory to Him. It made me sure of the reality of your spirit of compassion. I cannot recall being so blessed by a show of support for each other as sisters. Thank you for responding so generously of your time and effort. Entire congregations of women participated. Lone women in remote places participated. I cannot imagine a way that such an outpouring could fail to bless the lives of the ten women to whom the mail was, at last, addressed. If you are one of the women who received a stack of letters, you do not have to respond, but in the case that you would like to do so, please feel free to let me hear from you and I will post your message here on the blog. You can choose to continue to remain anonymous if you wish to do so. You may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next. let me say to those of you who have been wanting to purchase a “bundle” that includes all four Hannah’s Hundred CDs and only those CDs, we’ve made that available on www.thecolleyhouse.org. It’s called the “Memory Special” and, for a limited time, you will be able to purchase any four CDs for the price of three. It’s a nice gift for each of four children in your life or a great family Bible time helper for your home.
I hope we are all back on track if we lost our quiet times during the December rush. Whether you are Digging Deep or studying on your own, get with it. If you are digging, we are into some amazing lives in the Old Testament. We can’t help but grow as we look at these sanctified men.
Now, back to the series on the Parable of the Talents. This is part four.
Responsibility increases with growth.
The five talent man and the two talent man, upon being found faithful in a few things were made rulers over many things. The application for us is too glaring to overlook. Ladies, when we have been Christians for decades, we are responsible for growing, protecting and sanctifying the kingdom! Let me just list a few examples of responsibilities that grow and evolve with time and maturity.
- Just as a new baby does not have the ability to ingest and digest solid food, those who are new sisters may easily trip up over teachings that are foreign to the culture from which they came. As a mature Christian, I need to be watching for the things that make them stumble. I need to be looking for them at all the services, checking on them when they are absent, constantly asking if they have concerns or questions with which I can help. I need to be asking them to lunch and constantly showing them the happy spirit of Christ and making them feel a part of the family. This is a responsibility that should be happily shared by all the sisters in any congregation. It is even a good idea to keep a small class going for new sisters. This special time that they have together to ask questions of a seasoned veteran in the Lord’s cause can be of immeasurable help to them in their new walk with the Lord.
- The fourteen year old girls in my congregation may not fully comprehend the importance of modesty in dress. After all, I would not want them to fully understand the workings of a normal man’s mind when he views a scantily clothed girl. But I’ve been married for years. I understand. I must be constantly forging friendships with them, so that they know that I love them when I tell them to wear a camisole under that blouse or advise them not to attend the pool party.
- Certainly the Titus two admonition for older women to teach younger women falls into the category of responsibilities that grow with maturity. This is not a suggestion to older women. It’s a command with a stated result: “that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:5). That’s a powerful burden for mature Christian women. Are we serious about this command?
My responsibility to help the elders of my congregation becomes evident as I mature. I used to think that the elders were the ones who had all the responsibility to bring back the lost sheep. Galatians 6:1 says it’s those who are spiritual who share this responsibility with the elders. When I am troubled by the unfaithfulness or infidelity of a sister in Christ, I often go to one or more of our elders and say, “I would love to help Laura to come back to faithfulness. Can you think of something I can do?” Often I am commissioned by the elders to go to lunch with her or to confront her about a particular attitude or action. Sometimes the information she may share with me as a sister is valuable in helping the elders bring her to full restoration. Sometimes when her heart is hardened, my attempts help the elders know the best course of action to follow in purifying the body and protecting it from her leavening influence.