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The Plight of Pew Warmers
by Joyce C. Lock

Have you ever been frustrated over people who come to church just to warm the pews? It's so easy to point, "Sinner!" - turn your nose up, look the other way, and exclude them in fellowship. It takes the love of Christ to look inside and see their need.

They didn't give up on God. Otherwise, they wouldn't even be in church. What they may have given up on is either themselves or other Christians.

Maybe they fell. Maybe they were nearly stoned to death by the brethren. Perhaps their anger got the best of them. It could be that they were falsely accused. They may have misunderstood God's leading, thereby being tricked by Satan.

But, whatever is was, something very painful happened. Satan convinced them God wouldn't receive them, it could happen again, or they don't have the strength to begin anew.

Perhaps we could love them best by telling them they ‘can’, that God made a very special provision to help His children with such a need … that when we follow God every step of the way, we can't fall (II Ch. 15:2b), that we "can" place of confidence in Him.

A second group of pew warmers, phlegmatic in personality, often have the gift of helps. Once they scurried all over God's house, doing countless unnoticed deeds ... until they joined a legalistic church.

If they have to measure up to serve their God, they'll sit there ‘til the cows come home. They don't care if you call them dirty names, like ‘Back Slider’. They know who they are, a lot healthier than some of us.

We're not going to see them move, unless it's out the door, until our hearts are ready to receive them as already valuable members.

A third group of pew warmers are the new converts, new at the business of serving the Lord. They have so many new terms to learn, programs to follow, acceptable etiquette to catch, attire to transform, and things to grasp that they may not know if they're coming or going.

They need us to come along side and help, not preach at them.

A fourth group of pew warmers may not need to be noticed. They may minister throughout the week, while others take a holiday. They could be among our greatest prayer warriors. Yet, we thank them by judging.

A fifth group of pew warmers, those waiting to measure up, are still waiting. They believed man when he said they needed to pass a spiritual test first, but the rules keep changing. No point of acceptance with God opens that door. He isn't the one who closed it.

A sixth group of pew warmers possible aren't Christian at all. They may either be new or have efficiently warmed a pew for a lifetime. No one bothered to check their salvation.

A seventh group of pew warmers may be patiently waiting to serve while others think themselves so great they don't need help.

When we attempt to name another's sin, things are rarely what they seem. Pointing our finger at another leaves most of the fingers pointing at the real problem (Ps. 119:165).

God may not answer our prayers for more laborers until we use the ones He gave us.

See Also:

Live Each Day for God
We are living in an era of threat, surprises, frustrations, disasters, and terrorism. The meaning of life is diminishing; it doesn't look secure any more. There doesn't seem to be any safe place in the world. But life has to proceed until it comes to an end no matter what the circumstances are.

God is Talking -- Are You Listening? Part 4 By W. Bradford Swift 
When we acknowledge and become responsible for the interference that comes from our mind, our full cups and from being biased, what naturally begins to occur is a new opening for being fully present, aware and available for contribution.

Giving Back to Spirit
How often do you find yourself worrying or obsessing about a problem only to be reminded to give it back to Spirit/God. It's not difficult when we get caught up in everyday life, to take back what we have given to our Higher Power.

© by Joyce C. Lock

Joyce C. Lock is a published author, poet, and columnist. In addition, she founded and maintains the email ministries "Heavenly Inspirations" http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HeavenlyInspirations/ Joyce's writings encourage us in our relationship with God and each other.

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