The Perils of Uselessness and of Doing Nothing

Jesus sees things in our lives that we usually do not see. I want to briefly share with you about the perils of uselessness and of doing nothing. The word “uselessness” means “futile, having no beneficial use, ineffective, pointless.” Let me give a few examples…

Matthew 5:21-24… Here we see the uselessness of bringing your gift (praise, worship, tithes) to the altar while downgrading a fellow believer through name calling and unforgiveness. In this passage, a man wanted to be on good terms with God. That’s wonderful and the right thing to do, but God saw something else, that the man was not right with his brother. He was an angry man using words like “Raca,” meaning “the empty one, worthless.” He called the man “fool,” meaning “dull, stupid, idiot, blockhead, moron.” Over the years I have found that when people start vilifying another it is because they themselves caused the alienation in the first place. Many ministries act like this man. Rather than doing the right thing, they get real “spiritual” in a hurry, wanting to please God through some gift of service. It’s uselessness. God wanted this man to get out of religion and into relationship.

Mark 5:1-20… Here the area of uselessness is seen as not delivering others in their time of need. Fear blocks them. Many people in the town of Gadara knew about the demon-disturbed man living in the cemetery, but they had no strength to deliver him. Jesus never went anywhere without finding someone who needed help. Before He delivered this man who had cried out for help, the people who knew this man were afraid of the man’s insanity. When Jesus loosed him, they were then afraid of the man’s sanity. They recommended to Jesus that He leave their town. God sees whether we care or not. He hears the cry of the hurting hearts. Many Christians are afraid of people in need. God sees ministries who are useless when it comes to helping others.

Luke 10:30-37… Here we see the uselessness of those who are in the “ministry” and passing by on the other side when they see someone hurt. The thieves who robbed the man on his way to Jericho were cruel and heartless. The priest and the Levite did not hurt this man, but neither did they help him. They were cruel and helpless as well. They refused to get involved. They missed an opportunity to be useful. The Samaritan (an unbeliever) came and ministered life to the wounded man. Jesus sees the uselessness of being in the ministry if there is no compassion, grace, or mercy acts towards the hurting.

Matthew 12:43-45… Here we see the uselessness of leaving your heart empty after being emptied out and cleansed of demons and sin and habits. In this passage, the demons and sin returned when they saw a man doing nothing to fill his heart with good things. The man rejoiced when the demons were emptied out. But Jesus condemned what the other man rejoiced in; He condemned him for staying empty. The man’s life ended up worse than before. If Jesus has cleansed your heart from habits, sin, and devils; then it’s up to you to be filling your life with spiritual things, i.e., the Word, hearing the voice of the Lord speaking to you. Jesus sees your heart. He sees the uselessness of an empty heart.

Luke 8:11-15… Here we see the uselessness of sowing good seed into bad soil (hearts) if you do nothing with the word given. Four men received a word from the Lord. These were not bad men. They put themselves in a place to hear. They received the word in their minds but their hearts were out of sorts. One man couldn’t hold the word given; the word didn’t take root. Another received the word with joy, but when trials came because others spoke against his acceptance of the Lord and His word, he lost his joy. He paid more attention to the word of others than to the word the Lord gave him. The third man heard the word, but he let the cares of this world and the making of money take priority over the will of God for his life. Wrong priorities choked out the Word of God. Jesus sees how you receive His directives. It is useless to ask God for a word if you are not going to act righteously upon it.

What did Jesus see that we are not seeing? Jesus saw good people falling into a place of uselessness. He condemned them because they did nothing. The Bible says in James 4:17, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (KJV). The gospels tell of Jesus sending people to hell and into outer darkness because of what they did not do. The story of the rich man and Lazarus from Luke 16 is a good example. The man did not help the beggar Lazarus; he died and went to hell because of what he did not do. Matthew 25:31-46 tells of the Son of Man gathering nations. The charge that condemned the people was because they did nothing. They were not charged for some great immoral sin (and that’s bad enough), but for what they did not do. In Matthew 25:14-30, one man was given one talent. He hid the talent and accused his master of demanding too much of people. This good man was called a slothful servant (useless and good for nothing) and was sent into outer darkness… for doing nothing.

One of the worst charges brought against these people was that of uselessness. Jesus hates it. In Mark 2:23-28 Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for doing nothing on the Sabbath. The purpose of the Sabbath was to rest, to sustain and maintain the souls of people. Jesus came and met the needs of people on the Sabbath. Jesus rebuked the uselessness of the Sabbath if it wasn’t meeting the needs of people. The Sabbath was made for man, to enrich souls… to be a blessing and not a burden. Like the Pharisees, many today make the Sabbath a burden and not a blessing. Are you a useless Christian, a do-nothing believer? You can change. The Lord wants to change your life. Why not be changed? Come to Him now in prayer and with open heart and ask Him to change you.

Pastor George Belobaba

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