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 I was a sickly child. You wouldn’t know it by looking at me today, but I was rail thin, prone to catch any virus within a city block, and once I caught it, it took me forever to get over it. My mom was constantly fussing, as moms the world over are wont to do, and if bubbles existed in the village I grew up in back in the day, I surely would have spent my adolescence inside one for my own protection. It’s not that I had an embarrassment of friends, but the few I did have weren’t allowed to come by for fear of getting me sick. Yeah, it was that kind of childhood, and although my mom did her best to keep me away from any other living thing save herself, she never entirely succeeded.

In hindsight, keeping me away from things that breathed, whether man or beast, would have been the worst possible thing my mom could have done for me, even though she would have been doing it out of love and with good intentions, because the more it was challenged, the stronger my immune system became. Nowadays, unless someone injects the bubonic plague directly into my veins, I just don’t get sick. I’ve had a runny nose or two when the rest of the family was coughing and wheezing as though we were patients of the tuberculosis wing of a hospital in Eastern Europe, but it’s very rare, and even then, it lasts for maybe a day.

It’s the one thing my wife is envious of me over. When she asks how I do it, I shrug my shoulders and tell her I drink lots of water. I don’t know if that’s what it is, although I do drink lots of water, but I don’t have a better answer, and it just might get her to drink more water as well.

Some people fight off diseases that put others in the ground. It’s the reality of it, and there’s no rhyme or reason for it if you exclude providence and the will of God. Professional athletes are dropping dead of heart attacks at thirty-five, while a Rubenesque fellow who survives on gas station grilled cheese sandwiches pushing fifty is still going strong.

When it comes to the spiritual well-being of a body, however, there are prescribed steps that we must take to ensure continued health. Knowing that the enemy is always looking for an angle, for a way to cripple or destroy a congregation, the admonition James gives should be taken seriously and followed through upon.

Fully aware that I’m swimming against the current on this one, the job or function of an elder, a deacon, a bishop, or a pastor is not to amass ungodly fortunes, be lauded, cheered, praised, and deferred to, and treated like a rock star in his prime. The primary function of a leader within the body of Christ, whether that leader is an elder, a deacon, or a pastor, is to maintain the spiritual health of the body living by example.

It always leaves a bitter taste when someone insists you should do as they say and not as they do. There is a discordance there, like an errant off-key tuba in the middle of a saxophone solo. You can’t help but notice it, and though you might try, you can’t ignore it. Any minister, preacher, pastor, bishop, or leader who insists you should ignore the incongruity between what they say you should be doing and what they themselves are doing should be avoided and given a wide berth.

The selfsame individuals who insist that you should give until it hurts and just a little extra after are notorious for being some of the most tight-fisted misers you’re ever likely to run across. If it’s good for you, if it works for you, why isn’t it good for them as well? It would be an eye-opening revelation to see how much of their income some of those whose only message is about sowing seed give to those less fortunate than themselves. I know the go-to excuse is that they give of their time to teach people about sowing reaping, but that’s a trite obfuscation that has no basis in fact because they’re not sacrificing their time; they’re performing a task in return for a paycheck, a retirement package, and a golden parachute, at the expense of the naïve and desperate.

Everything else must take second place to the spiritual well-being of a church body, whether that church body meets in a sanctuary, a garage, or someone’s barn. If it’s not vibrant and healthy if their marching orders don’t come from God and aren’t carried out dutifully, it doesn’t matter how much is in the building fund or how comfortable the new pews are; it’s only a matter of time before it begins to erode and crumble.

The erosion begins from within, eating away at the fundamental truths they ought to have been building upon, but eventually, it will reveal itself without, with the godless gleefully pointing out the destruction and failings.

When we prioritize our lives in accordance with the Gospel and react to circumstances such as suffering commensurate with the Word of God, we will be able to hold our heads above water and continue our journey onward. We will not be stuck in the same place for years on end but able to overcome by the power of the One we serve.

We draw on the examples of those who came before us, those highlighted within the pages of scripture as men who knew obedience, who knew the presence of God in their lives, and how they reacted to suffering, hardship, persecution, and weakness. An example is something you aim to emulate, not see as noble, and then ignore it altogether. There is a reason that the later writers of the Bible call back on the earlier heroes of the faith because just as we are in awe of those who came before, so too were they in awe of their predecessors.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Posted on 19 March 2024 | 12:33 pm

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Mike's 25 Latest Blog Posts

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8. Apr 7, 2024 - Preparing For Persecution III
9. Apr 6, 2024 - Preparing for Persecution II
10. Apr 5, 2024 - Preparing For Persecution I
11. Apr 2, 2024 - Final Thoughts
12. Apr 1, 2024 - Wisdom
13. Mar 31, 2024 - Restored III
14. Mar 30, 2024 - Restored II
15. Mar 29, 2024 - Restored
16. Mar 27, 2024 - Nature
17. Mar 26, 2024 - Effective
18. Mar 25, 2024 - Honesty
19. Mar 24, 2024 - Order II
20. Mar 23, 2024 - Order
21. Mar 22, 2024 - Sick
22. Mar 20, 2024 - Suffering
23. Mar 19, 2024 - Healthy
24. Mar 18, 2024 - Unchanging
25. Mar 17, 2024 - Yes and No

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