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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



Some people are far too casual and careless about Christ and His church. One Sunday morning, two men were on a lake fishing. After several hours without so much as a single bite one of the guys said to his friend, "You know, we probably should have stayed home and gone to church this morning." The other guy said, "Well, I could have stayed home, but I couldn't have gone to church anyway." His buddy ask, "Why's that?" Fisherman # 2 responded, "My wife's at home sick and in the bed." That funny story reminds us of a sad truth - some people are more careful about fish than they are faith and family! Some are quite simply careless about their souls. Webster's Universal Dictionary and Thesaurus defines careless as "not careful; negligent, unconcerned, insensitive, carefree." On the other hand, careful means "painstaking, thoughtful, cautious." Those definitions before us, allow me to affirm that some people practice "careless Christianity." Regarding their devotion to God, study of the Bible, involvement in the church, attendance at assemblies and performance of Christian duty, some are not careful and are negligent, unconcerned insensitive, and carefree instead of being painstaking, thoughtful and cautious.

The New Testament phrase "take heed" reminds us of both the possibility and the danger of being careless as Christians. One of the places that phrase is found is 1' Corinthians 3:10-12. Here the apostle Paul describes the church as "Gods building" (vs 9b). He insists that by preaching Christ in Corinth he laid the foundation for the church and others church workers built on that foundation. Next he warns the church with these words, "But let each one take heed how he builds on it" (vs 10b). The New International Version translates this passage, "each one should be careful how he builds." Why is Paul concerned that Christians "take heed" and "be careful" in their Christian lives? Verses 12-13 reveal the danger of being careless Christians — "Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is." This passage teaches that not all Christians are equal in the quality of their devotion to and work for the Lord. Careless Christians need to take heed. The cross of Christ makes clear Jesus was not careless about our souls — and we can't be haphazard and careless about them and expect to get to Heaven. Each of us is daily building a spiritual house either carefully or carelessly. What careless Christians build will not be able to pass the test when the great Building Inspector of our souls returns. Are you a careful or a careless Christian?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ