Vol. 3, No. 12
The seventeenth century poet-preacher John Dunn gave the world these widely quoted words:
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; the bell tolls for thee.
Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher and mathematician, was once asked by a Greek tyrant what he was doing at the Olympic Games. The philosopher replied,
Some come to try out for the prizes, some come to sell their merchandise, some come to enjoy themselves and to meet their friends. I am one of those who came just to stand on the sidelines and look on.
Telling the story, many years later, Bacon observed: "But man must know that in the theatre of man's lives and God's world, it is reserved only for God and the angels to look on."
All of us are deeply involved in all of mankind and there is nothing that happens anywhere in the world that affects people that is not a matter of our concern. From the very beginning of time, man has been involved with his fellow man though he has not realized it. After Cain killed Abel the Lord said, "Where is Abel thy brother?" (Genesis 4:9). Cain answered, "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9-10). Cain didn't realize that the answer to that question is "Yes." There are still descendants of Cain who are cursed with their own lack of concern for their fellow man.
Ours is an age of two great evils regarding involvement. First, there is the evil of refusing to get involved with the dangers and needs of others. Practically every day the newspapers report a case of need and people standing on the sidelines absolutely refusing to get involved. Second, there is the evil of getting too involved in the things of the world and being choked to death spiritually (Matthew 13:22).
There are many examples of real involvement in the Lord's work. When brother G.C. Brewer (a great Gospel preacher who passed to his reward many years ago) was preaching in Sherman, Texas, he became involved. He was walking home from his office one day at noon for lunch. Suddenly, out of the blue there came a crisis. He had just passed some little children playing in a yard when he saw a mad dog, frothing at the mouth, coming toward those children. There was no time to call the police, no time to get a gun, no time to even find a stick, so brother Brewer met that dog head-on with his bare hands, and killed the dog. Of course, he had to take the rabies shots and much suffering followed, but he became involved when the need arose, even at the risk of his own life.
The Samaritan became involved (Luke 10:23-37). This Samaritan really was a rather irrational man. He should have had the sense to see that this was a dangerous spot and if he remained, he likewise might be robbed and beaten. He should have had the insight to realize that the man he was helping was a man of a race that looked upon his own race as dogs. He would probably get no thanks for his efforts. But, he stopped. It involved unselfishness and love.
The greatest thing that can happen in a Christian's life is to really get involved in the Lord's work. It will give new tone and meaning to your life. Happiness will come in a degree you have never known. Others will be blessed and the Lord will be glorified.