I’ve spent most of my adult, working life, wearing a hard hat, glove and steel toe capped boots. Because I love my head and my toes and wish to keep them the way they should be. I banged my head, pretty badly, early on – because I thought hard hats were stupid and annoying and uncomfortable.
I had a very bad head for a while after that encounter! And I also discovered that standing up, underneath the main boom of a lorry mounted crane, is never sensible! I took quite a lot of insults after that, because I was never seen working on my truck without a hard hat. Lifting large, heavy, objects was – for me at least – an obvious clue that boots with steel toe caps was a must…that one I got immediately!
With a hard hat I was fit for purpose.
Without it, I was an accident waiting to happen!
I still think hard hats are annoying and uncomfortable, but I accept that discomfort because I like my head! The name calling I relentlessly received was easily ignored, because I don’t like inflicting headaches upon myself!
Fit for purpose, doesn’t automatically equate to comfortable and easy, though, and in our Christian walk, we need to be fit for purpose too! This requires, from us, a willing heart to serve God (and a willingness to live the exciting life that follows as we let Him lead us on the paths He knows are best for us to walk on!).
But, and this is a really important ‘but’.
But God watching over us doesn’t prevent us from living through pain and hurt. The first disciples of Jesus found out that the cost of following Christ would soon be a short and painful one - for them.
So don’t, ever, believe any lies that might suggest that a life with God will be pain free, or by that following God you will find yourselves replete with money and a life of ease! This isn’t a contradiction either to the protection that God promises us - although we’ll leave ‘the why’ for another time!
If we’re fit for purpose for a lifetime serving God, we’ll be far more interested in our spiritual exercise than our physical exercise (1 Timothy 4 v8), and far more concerned with what God thinks of our actions, than those around us.
I know, personally, what it is to face mockery and ridicule from people who ‘should’ be loving and kind towards you. I’ve lived through those hurtful actions more times than I care to count. But I’ve also, always, strived to put God first, and that means putting other things second, and those things that we have to put second usually have names and don’t like ‘not being’ the most important things on our to do lists.
But if we desire to truly serve God, then being fit for purpose means pretty frequently upsetting people who have a different plan for our lives than us or God. We do need wise counsel – absolutely - and this isn’t licence to do what we want, or as an excuse to hurt people around us. It is, however, a motivation for who comes first in our lives.
A a newborn baby needs, rightfully and righteously, all of our attention in those first weeks and months, although this is for a season only (those bags under your eyes don’t last forever!).
Our own children know that our desire, as parents, is to raise them the best we can. They can also fluently and easily speak of how much they know they are loved by us! But they also know that, since an early age, they have never been the most important focus of our lives, and nor should they be.
To be fit for purpose as parents, we need to be putting our spouse ahead of our children, or the marriage can not survive well, and the family can not know the same levels of peace and security that come from a happily married couple! Research has proved this enough times to be beyond doubt!
By putting God first, then our marriage, then our children, we are creating a biblically sound foundation for the rest of their lives, and the lives and society around us. It creates a security in our children that we could never intentionally create by always putting them first.
So let’s be aware of seasons of life which will, righteously, change our focus. But let’s never stop putting God first either!
Just like my bike, let’s get advice from those who know more, and as Christians we should be expecting older men and women in our church families to teach us what they have learned through their walks with Christ.
But, let’s also ensure our relationship with Jesus is not just our highest priority, but the priority of priorities, such that nothing even comes on to the same to do list as our relationship with Jesus.
When we do that, everything else will happily, and easily, fall into place.
When we put the King of Kings and Lord of Lords first, everything else makes sense!
So another Andy B 2 Minute Video.
I'm going to conclude my series on me replacing my bike part, with this one. And I've called this one Fit For Purpose.
Because the whole thing about replacing the part on my bike, was that the one that was there was not fit for purpose. It didn't work.
It kind of nearly worked.
It was kind of the right type of thing.
It was made by the right manufacturer, but it was the wrong type.
So the real, erm, short version, is, this particular derailleur - it's the bit that hangs down from the back of the bike. It helps you select the gears on your back wheel. Mine was designed for a 9 speed-wheel, er, gears, erm, and actually I've only got 8.
So I needed an 8 speed derailleur.
A 9 speed derailleur does not work very well, as I've discovered for the last six years.
It was not fit for purpose, and as Christians we need to be fit for purpose for God!
It doesn't matter if we kind of look right, and we kind of go to church, and we kind of read the Bible. We actually need to be fit for purpose!
You wouldn't turn up to your, erm, new school, new college, new job and you need hard, a hard, you know a hard hard hat in your new job.
'But I'm not wearing a hard hat' - it ain't fit for purpose, to be honest.
If you're going to wear sandals, and you need hard steel-toe-cap boots, which was most of my working life, you'd never turn up in sandals because you like your toes. You would be for not fit for purpose!
So we make lots of efforts through life to be fit for purpose.
You'd arrive at your new college, or school with, er, pens and a book or whatever, a notepad, erm, tablet or whatever you're using to take notes of what you're doing. You'd be writing, you arrive with what you need, because you need to be fit for purpose.
My bike part was not fit for purpose, but as Christians we need to make sure we are fit for purpose for Jesus Christ.
How do we do that? We renew our mind. We spend time with other Christians who are more mature. We take advice, and wisdom, from older Christians. So important to listen to those who have walked the faith longer than us.
Erm, as somebody who is really passionate about supporting marriages, I'm really passionate about it because people don't pass on information anymore.
We've got soaring divorce rates in the UK, and around the world, because nobody's told newlywed couples, by the way, at 12 to 18 months, when the bonding hormone in chemicals that God is going to help you get to know each other, and through, with. When they've run out 12 to 18 months, you're going to start contemplating separation and leaving each, other 'cos you don't feel in love anymore, like you used to know.
No one's passing on the information that that's quite normal. And enjoy that time - it's not a bad thing, it's not. It's not a problem, it's just what happens when that, er, the bonding chemical that is there - we can go into that another time - when that fades away and it's there for so long, and you want that exhilaration, that excitement of a new relationship . Well hen it's gone - you keep going. That's wisdom.
Be fit for purpose!
Get advice from older Christians!
Get into the Bible!
And make sure you keep praying, and listening to the Holy Spirit, who will help you each and everyday.
Just a thought.
Written by BerryBunch.family