The problem with going so long without making any posts is that it’s easy to just keep doing nothing. Every day I went without writing for this blog, the harder it was to jump back in. I’d look at the site stats and think, “Traffic is okay; I can go another day without posting.” And then it became another, and another, and another, and another. Then checking site stats even slipped out of my daily routine. The work I do on our congregational site suffered too. It’s not like the site is going anywhere. It’s solid; it’s just that no new content was going up for a while. The habit of doing nothing easily spills over into other things.
I imagine this is one of the reasons Barnabas insisted John Mark stay active in ministry in Acts 15:37. Remember John Mark had abandoned a missionary journey with Paul and Barnabas back in Acts 13:13, and, based on Acts 15:38, it seems the departure was not for the right reasons or with the others’ consent. It would have been easy for Barnabas to stay with such a strong worker like Paul while letting John Mark fall to the side. But he didn’t. For John Mark to grow spiritually, he had to stay involved. Barnabas was the one to keep him involved, and the results are clear. By II Timothy 4:11, Paul refers to Mark as one who is useful or helpful.
Hebrews 10:24-25 builds on this theme:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
We shouldn’t be letting each other fall into the habit of doing nothing. We should be spending time with each other regularly rather than living in isolation. We should be stirring each other up. pushing each other forward. We have to be aware if a brother or sister has become complacent.
We are creatures of habit, of routines. A routine of neglect, a habit of doing nothing, is every bit as powerful as an active routine. We have to watch out for signs of complacency in our own lives and in the lives of our brothers and sisters. We have to encourage each other to stay active. We should set goals, have reading/study plans, be actively engaged with each other – whatever it takes. We cannot let the habit of doing nothing take hold of our lives.