Who Is Falling Behind?
14 “Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord. 15 Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it—“ Hebrews 12:13-15 Amplified Bible
These verses tell us to be looking out for others as we strive to live properly with them. To live in peace as verse 14 says means that we are to live peaceably as Jesus did. Jesus lived in peace by living for others and making sacrifices for their benefit and good. This is what each of us should be doing as members of the body of Christ. In doing this we are providing the opportunity for others to see Jesus. Then in verse 15 we are told to go a step further and be looking ahead for the benefit of others. We are to be on the watch to benefit others and to look for opportunities to help them develop in their relationship with Jesus. We are to do this so that no one falls back or gets left behind.
There was an old movie called “Few Good Men”. One of the scenes I vividly remember is a Marine who was substandard. He was always falling behind the others and could not keep up with the rest of his platoon. In the movie this was a grave concern for the officers over him because they knew that his always falling behind was putting the rest of the platoon in danger. That is the world’s view of anyone that cannot keep up with the rest. They become disposable and must be removed just as this young private was in the movie.
What these verses from Hebrews are saying are the exact opposite and this is God’s perspective. In the spiritual realm the ones who are falling behind are not to be looked upon as a detriment that is holding the rest back. Instead we who are mature in the Jesus are responsible for making sure that everyone advances in their relationship with Jesus and grows continually. You have a responsibility to make sure that those falling behind keep moving forward to become what Jesus has planned for them to be. We help them keep advancing and they grow stronger in Him.
Are their believers in your life that are falling behind? Don’t just write them off as detrimental to the Kingdom work. Stop and help them grow and advance so they can also enjoy the fulfilment that comes only from living our lives fruitfully in Him. This is our great honor and it is to His great glory.
J Todd Hostetler