Uncomfortable truths and useless servants

by Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com

Often, I’ll hear something I have to write down because it’s just that good.

This happened last year.  Actually, it happens all the time.  But in this particular instance, it was April of last year.  A particular phrase from a sermon by David Layne at The Bridge Fellowship in Lebanon, Tennessee made an impact on me.  He said:

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for God’s people to do nothing.”


There’s some wisdom in those 16 words!  When Christians are complacent, evil is allowed to run rampant and invade us like the flu bug.  Our defenses are down and our immune system is low.  The worst of it is that it’s something we choose.  In a book I’m writing and hope to publish one day soon (ATTENTION: This is a first sneak-peek!), I briefly discuss our noncommittal attitudes and actions when it comes to our Christianity and whether we are answering God’s call for our lives.  I call this an “uncomfortable truth.” (This particular one is #4 of 5).

You see, intention without action is useless.  Sometimes our best intentions don’t add up to acceptable results.  A term used in the Bible for this is “useless servant.”

three servantsIf you recall the parable of the three servants, you may see where I’m going here.  In Matthew 25:14-30, we learn about the three servants who were entrusted with their master’s talents while he was away on a trip.  Each servant received different amounts as related to the scope of their abilities.  Two of the three invested the talents and worked to increase them, garnering positive results.  The third buried the talents keeping them safe, but not multiplying them.  When the master came back, he surveyed the results, praising the two servants who built further wealth and gave them additional responsibilities.  The third servant, well, he was not so lucky.  He was described as a useless servant (Matt. 25:30 NLT).

Is this not what we are when we commit to God by intention only?  We are often no different than the third servant.  He was a partial, useless servant.  Our attitudes and actions need to reflect our commitments and beliefs.  We can have the best intentions to do right by God and others, but unless we act, we allow the enemy to prevail.  We need to be all-in!  If we are a useless servant, we make it easy for evil to triumph because we are doing little to nothing to overcome it. Basking in the complacency of our Christianity falls way short of our spiritual potential.  God asks more of us and, quite frankly, we should be delivering.  And to be honest, I personally have some work to do.

Time for a little self-audit: Do you find a little bit of the third servant in you?   In what ways? (Challenge: Anyone brave enough to leave a comment specific to your own challenges in this area?)


3 thoughts on “Uncomfortable truths and useless servants

  1. I find challenges with where to serve, volunteer, etc. I have good intentions to “make a difference”, but sometimes become so overwhelmed with where that I don’t do anything. I don’t want to be the third servant! Thanks for the reminder than intentions without action is useless.

    1. Royce Ann – I know how you feel. There are so many things we would all like to help with or get involved in. It always helps to identify a passion and start from there. Being a good servant is often easier when it is something we enjoy or get satisfaction from doing, or when it has to do with our spiritual gifts. With a good heart, come the intentions followed by the actions! Keep seeking the opportunity!

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