This week I was talking with a fellow missionary and he brought up an interesting line of thinking. He said that we outsource so much of our daily lives that many have forgotten how to do things for themselves. Particularly he was applying that thought to missionaries who go to the field woefully unprepared to do some basic tasks on their own.
When he used the term “outsource” I immediately thought of big businesses that hire cheap labor from foreign countries. What he was referring to was that we pay people to do things for us so that we don’t have to do them or learn how to do them. There was a time when people who drove cars knew how to work on their own cars. They could at least change the oil and perform basic maintenance. Now it is easier, and sometimes cheaper, to pay a mechanic to do those tasks for us. Our grandparents probably knew how to perform basic plumbing and electrical work in their houses. It may be that they even built their house with their own hands. Today we outsource any plumbing work we need done in the house by calling a plumber.
What about your Bible reading or spiritual growth? Are you paying other people to take care of that for you? It certainly isn’t wrong to go to church and get fed spiritually, but it should not be a replacement for reading the Bible for yourself. Listening to good preaching on the radio will help you grow, but just because you listen does not mean you are growing in knowledge and maturity. You have to apply what you learn.
No one becomes a good plumber without someone helping them learn the tricks of the trade. You won’t become a spiritual giant in a vacuum. But you also have to apply the things you learn in church to your life so that you mature into a good soldier of Jesus Christ.