“Constipated Christian” is the term Pastor Ryan used in his sermon Sunday morning where we visited his beautiful family in Tomahawk, WI over Labor Day weekend. At first I chuckled at the term because it sounded kind of funny. After all, constipation isn’t something people strike up a conversation about, or preach about from the pulpit, much less adding Christian to it. But as he continued to speak, it made sense. He made a very interesting point that has resonated with me ever since.
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
In a world full of hurt and pain, church is a place many go to be filled with God’s love and blessings. We all have areas in our lives that we need God to fill. Maybe you attend church groups, prayer groups, Bible studies, or other church related activities during the week to continue being trained and filled. Perhaps you do a daily devotion or Bible reading and you continue to equip yourself with the word of God and you are filled even more on a daily basis. So every day of the week, you have opportunities to be filled with the word of the Lord.
But how are you applying what you learn? Are you focused on getting filled and forgetting to give out to others? Are you finding ways to access the hearts of the people around you? Are you taking the time to share the love of Christ with others so that you may build up the body of Christ?
To me it is all about balance. If you take in God’s love, God’s gifts, God’s blessings, God’s instruction you are FILLED. And boy does that feel wonderful! But in order to prevent being a “Constipated Christian,” you can’t stop there. You have to GIVE IT OUT. Share God’s love, share your gifts, share your blessings, and share your heart with others.
It could be as simple as having tea or coffee with someone who needs a friend, bringing a meal to a family in need and taking the time to hear their story, or sending a text to a someone and letting them know you are praying for them. These simple acts of kindness can make a bad day turn around. You can impact someone’s life in a positive way and build God’s kingdom.
I have days that I think I am a constipated Christian because my cup is empty and all I want to do is be filled. I praise God for the people who answer the call God puts on their hearts because just at the perfect moment I get a call, email, text, or the wonderful feeling that comes over me knowing someone is praying for me. But as I am filled, I turn around and give because I know how blessed I was when someone took the time to access my heart and show the love of Jesus to me. So I want to take that moment to share, care, and love others.
There will be days and seasons when you will need to be filled, but don’t forget to give out too. God has equipped you to do His work. Be His voice, hands and feet in hurting this world.
What do you think about when you hear “Constipated Christian?” What ways are you being FILLED? What are some ways you can GIVE OUT?