Skipping Out

May 20, 2021
Volume 25, Number 19

Joshua Potvin did what many of have considered doing. The former Chief of Police of Fryeburg, Maine did not want to be in the February meeting of the Board of Selectmen, so he devised a scheme to dash out. He texted one of his officers to call him out of the meeting, and then filed a fraudulent report of a suspicious person that needed to be investigated. He went to great lengths to skip out of that meeting!

When the scheme came to light, however, the Maine Criminal Justice Academy voted to take away his license to serve in law enforcement. Because he couldn’t endure a public meeting Potvin will now have to find a new career; he can never again be a law enforcement officer in Maine.

Patience, it seems, is waning in America (and probably in many parts of the world). We typically groan when we learn of scheduled meetings and begin looking for reasons to be absent from them. Some work hard to be relieved of jury duty because they will be tied up for long periods of time. Seldom, however, are the consequences of our dodging as serious as Potvin’s.

Christians are not immune to this temptation. Hebrews 10:25 suggests a problem that is as old as humankind: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Clearly, some even in the earliest days of Christianity were skipping out on the assemblies. The inspired writer said simply, “Don’t do it.”

What led these early Christians to forsake the assembly? Jesus listed some reasons some use when He spoke the Parable of the Great Supper. Those who had been invited to a feast “began to make excuses” for not coming. One had a real estate acquisition to examine; another had just bought five yoke of oxen that needed to be tested; a third had just married a wife (Luke 14:16-20). All of these were significant life experiences, but Christ regarded them as “excuses” when it came to a more solemn opportunity. Their priorities were out of order.

Earlier in Luke’s gospel we read of the sisters Martha and Mary having Jesus into their home for a meal. Mary “sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word” while Martha “was distracted with much serving” (Luke 10:39,40). When Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to come help her, He responded with this: “Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken from away from her” (Luke 10:42). Serving is not a bad thing to do, but taking time to hear the Lord’s words is a much better choice.

Yes, we’re often tempted to skip out on time-consuming activities, but spending time in worshiping God and learning from His word is a high priority. Read Matthew 6:33.

Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2021, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

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