In the physical world if we neglect to take care of our yards, fill our gas tanks, or take care of our bodies, we will soon reap the negative consequences of such carelessness. These thoughtless acts, while sometimes serious, do not have eternal costs. Spiritual negligence, however, is much more serious and can yield dire everlasting results.
In Matthew 23:23, Jesus warns his listeners of neglecting the commandments. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” While tithing was required of God’s people in order to be obedient, the things of the heart, justice, mercy, and faithfulness, speak to the character of a person and are here called the “weightier” provisions of the law. In other words, none of God’s laws should be neglected, but especially those that imitate the character of God (justice, mercy, faithfulness).
In Acts 6, we read of the early church neglecting the needs of the Hellenistic widows in the daily distribution of food. When this situation was brought to the attention of the apostles, spiritual men were immediately chosen to remedy this situation. The neglect was addressed. In Luke 16, Jesus relates the account of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man had all the physical signs of wealth, but he failed to take notice or care for this poor man who was covered in sores and laid at his gate each day hoping for the scraps of the wealthy man’s table. He neglected the poor and his outcome was disastrous.
It is so easy in our busy lives to begin to neglect the things God wants us to do, however, now is the time to take notice of this sin in our lives, repent, and be about the business of the Lord. The following are some of the ways we may be neglectful in our Christian walk: 1. Singing. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell within you, with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with all thankfulness in your hearts to God.” It is sad to say, but in our own assembly I have noticed Christians who seem to be half heartedly singing or not attempting to sing at all. This should not be. The Bible teaches that singing not only praises God, but it uplifts the singer and encourages others. Let’s all make it our goal to pay attention to the words of our songs and sing them with praise in our hearts to the Lord. 2. Restoring weak members. Galatians 6:1 states, “Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentlenesss…” The account of the Good Shepherd demonstrates the truth of the importance of each soul when the Shepherd leaves the 99 safe sheep to go out and find the one lost lamb. 3. Praying. Colossians 4:2. “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving. 4. Bible study. Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge…” To obey the commandments, we must know them. 5. To control our tongue. James 3: 5-12.
We have been given the greatest gift, Salvation. We need to cherish it, be thankful for it, and remain faithful to it. In Hebrews 2:2-3, states it so well. “For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”