Avoiding the Convenience Idol

  By Bob Brubaker  |  

It’s easy to fall into the trap of the idol called “convenience” where we serve God out of ease rather than sacrifice. Because our culture is so driven by this principle of handiness where we see double drive through stations at fast food restaurants and churches that schedule meetings based upon what is easiest for the most people to attend so the typical Christian has accepted the role of consumer rather than servant and seems to be present when things are right in that other offerings are not present, instead of scheduling things around serving God. Wait a minute! Stop this madness! Let’s review what Jesus said about being His disciple:

Luke 9:23 (ESV) — 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Serving the Lord Jesus Christ is about “self-denial” and “sacrifice” not convenience. This is not saying we earn our way to salvation, it’s because salvation has been placed in our hands by the One Who sacrificed His own life. He is the One who said, if you want to be my follower, then you must deny yourself and take up your cross daily. It may not be convenient but what is so important in life that we look at the cause of Christ as “inconvenient?”

Several years ago, I wrote the following article about “The Rebecca Principle” that demonstrates a very accurate way of getting ahead in life by doing what is required and then some. As you review the account below you can see that Rebecca did not do what she did out of convenience, it was a demonstration of self-sacrifice that actually ended with her playing a part in the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ. As you read the article below, please ask yourself if this is how you serve the Lord Jesus Christ and if the idol of convenience has slipped in between you and Your savior.

Genesis 24:10–20 (ESV) — 10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. 11 And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. 12 And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.” 15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her water jar on her shoulder. 16 The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.” 18 She said, “Drink, my lord.” And she quickly let down her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. 19 When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew for all his camels.

This is quite the story of Abraham’s servant searching for a bride for Isaac. It’s the story of the servant depending upon God and the story of how the doing what was necessary and then some opened the door for great blessing. Hence many people call this the “Rebekah principle.”

This was no easy accomplishment; camels drink quite a bit of water and there would have been a caravan of camels. The extra, beyond giving the man a drink, meant an hour or more of intensive work but she thought nothing of it. Nor do people who practice the Rebekah principle at work, in marriage, in workouts, and in life. You just do what is necessary and always a little more.

I heard a commentator talk about this lacking in today’s business world. Where people would do what was expected and more, today he said it seems people are looking to do as little as possible. Hence anyone who practices this principle, although he did not call it by name, find great success because it makes a person really stand out from the rest.

Let’s face it. It’s easy to do just what is necessary and walk away. You haven’t cheated anyone. Well, when you know you could have added more, you have really cheated yourself. Rebekah didn’t do the extra watering of the camels to gain anything for herself because she had no idea who was asking for water and what his mission was. Nevertheless, by doing the extra, a door was opened for her to be part of God’s covenant line along with numerous blessings that came with that.

Once you do what you need to do today, think of this Rebekah principle and how you might add a little more on top of what you have done.

Godspeed,

Bob Brubaker

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