Don’t Become Jaded
By: Brian A. Yeager
The word “jaded” means this: “tired, bored, or lacking enthusiasm, typically after having had too much of something…” (New Oxford American Dictionary). Many of us have been burned while trying to help people obey the Gospel and be saved. Many of us have been hurt to see someone we want to help get to Heaven fall away. Many of us have seen more people fail to please God than we have seen succeed in the faith. Here in El Paso we have seen fake Christians (Kenny Wright), disappointingly divisive people (Herman Starkey), quick failures (Gabriel and Kim Martinez), an adulteress (Kim Wright), backbiters (Wilma Peterson), and the list could go on. Recently, we have even tried to help a psychologically disturbed person who twisted the Scriptures (II Peter 3:15-17; cf. I Timothy 6:3-6) to her own destruction (Sabrina Thompson).
In all of the cases wherein we have had to deal with troubled apostates here in El Paso, it was never an “easy” thing to do. Each case caused heartache for those of us who were involved. Each person is still on our minds. All of the things we have been through could cause us to get weary of the work we are all apart of in helping the lost to be saved. Yet, the Lord says this: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10).
I know that with all I have seen with my eyes and have had to feel in my heart, there are times wherein I think “oh no, not again”. I would imagine that those of us who have been around for a while, doing the Lord’s work, feel like we’ve had enough at times. This mindset can set us back and cause us to fail. If we become jaded we will lose our enthusiasm when we are trying to help someone be saved. In this condition, instead of being excited to help someone get to Heaven, we will instead just figure that person is going to fail like the many who have come before them.
The fact is, few will be saved (Matthew 7:13-14). All of us know that. Therefore, we should not be surprised when we see more failure than we do success. We have to remember that, even among those called by the Gospel to be saints; few are going to actually make it to Heaven (Matthew 22:14; cf. II Thessalonians 2:14). Few does not mean ZERO. Therefore, all of our work will not be in vain. Yes, we may see more failure than success. How much is one soul worth though? How much is your soul worth to you? If you and I become jaded, we are going to be lost and so are those whom we’ve not reached out to because we’ve become jaded.
When Jesus died on the cross, He knew that few were going to be saved (Luke 13:23-24). Jesus knew what men were thinking (John 2:23-25). Jesus knew the world was wicked (I John 5:19). Jesus could have easily tossed His hands up and said, “what’s the point?” Where would you and I be if Jesus had become jaded? Let’s think about this point a bit and consider what we can learn from Christ.
Jesus Didn’t Become Jaded
After the inspired writer of the book of Hebrews spent a chapter discussing people of faith (Hebrews 11:1-40), he wrote this: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:1-3).
Jesus came into the world to save the world (John 3:16-18). Yet, notice the reception He received: “And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again… And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God… The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil… If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you… He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause… The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses” (Mark 8:31, John 3:19-21, John 7:7, John 15:18, John 15:23-25, and Acts 3:13-15).
Before Jesus came into this world, He knew what was going to happen to Him (Matthew 21:42; cf. Acts 4:10-12). Jesus suffered and cried over what was happening to Him and what that meant for those who did such evil against Him (Hebrews 5:5-9). He didn’t become jaded. He was determined to finish the work He came to do (John 4:34). When they crucified Him, He still was not jaded. In fact, He wanted those who killed Him to be able to be saved. Notice His words: “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots” (Luke 23:33-34). Even after all Jesus had experienced on earth, He still is not jaded. To this day, He is at work in the salvation of our souls (Romans 8:34 and I John 2:1).
Jesus is our example to follow (I Peter 2:21). Jesus was hurt more than we ever will be or even could be. His suffering was on a level we shall never reach because of who He is and what He was doing. Yet, He is not jaded. Therefore, we know we can do it too. Thus, as we conclude, remember these words: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).
Volume 14 – Issue 14 - December 22nd, 2013