Price per gallon has moderated some, but everyone still laments the high cost of fuel evident on the electric bill or at the pump. “Fueling” our daily activities is costly; some would argue too costly.
A Modern Parable:
There was a family man who owned a small independent gas station. His reputation for light auto repair work done right at a fair price kept the station viable. He often failed to make a profit (of any kind) selling gas. Yet, his customers constantly complained about the high cost of fuel. Their “joking” was often betrayed by the serious implication that the man must be raking it in! The charge of greed when, in fact, he was diligent- hurt. After years of this tension the man thought of quitting the business. Instead, he sought a way to make the gas cheaper and thereby satisfy the customers. He began to dilute the gas. First, just a little; and then quite a lot. People flocked to his pumps for the cheap gas. They were happy and he was making a profit on gas sales for the first time. Until… cars, mowers, and wee-whackers refused to run. The contaminated gas ruined everything into which it was put. The end!
Beloved, your independent local church is like a fueling station. It’s a family business. Quitting, or diluting, are not real options. We will have to bear the voice of complaint on the “high cost of gas!” Learn how to properly evaluate the “local church.” Our public gatherings must be God-Centered with undying commitment to the purity of the Scriptures. The Word of God, like fuel, energizes the activities of our spiritual walk and witness in the world. We are not called to simply curse the darkness, but to shine as lights! That takes real energy.