Recently I was in one of our courthouses in Mississippi and as I walked in the door, there was a nice table with an arrangement on it and a chair on each side of the table. I stopped not just to admire the arrangement of all of it, but because the chair had a sign taped to it. The chair on the other side of the table had an identical sign. Both read: “This chair is here for decorative purposes only.” As I stood there, some of the people I knew came around me. They were looking at it too and I said, “I suppose this is a Christian chair,” implying that it was there for decorative purposes only. Of course, I was being facetious but there may be some of us who are not available for service or to be of significant help to anyone other than just to be a pretty face and decorate the premises.
I think it was to some of us, who at times are not being what God called us to be, to whom Jesus was referring when He said about salt that if it has lost its savor, its flavor, its quality of bringing taste to others, then it’s no good. In fact, He said it is good only to be thrown out and trodden under the foot of men (Matt. 5:13). We are not put here on this earth for decorative purposes only. Specifically and pointedly, when we come to know Christ as Savior and Lord the designs of God for our lives reach far beyond just being here for decorative purposes only.
The Apostle Paul clearly addresses this in his last book in 2 Timothy 2:20, “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonor.” He was probably referring to the fact that some items are used for great, high, and special purposes while other pieces serve more mundane purposes and have more practical usages. Whether gold or silver or wood or earthen, none were in the house just for decorative purposes. All of us have special, specific, effective purposes in Kingdom work. In other words, we aren’t here just to look good, even sound good, or to put our talents on display. I’m always amazed when I see gifted and multi-gifted people. Multi-talented folks are a blessing and a rarity. Whether it is their musical, financial, or speaking ability, they can be mightily used of God but they (as with any of us) are not here for decorative purposes only.
I started thinking about the things in our home that have a function but don’t function. For instance, through the years we have acquired a number of clocks. I like ticking, chiming clocks, but several of our clocks do not fill their purpose. They sit on the shelf or hang on the wall and twice a day have the correct time. Otherwise, they are just there for decorative purposes. I understand there are two reasons why they are not tick-tocking. Some of them are not working because I do not keep them wound, but a few of them are not working because they are broken and need to go to the clock shop.
As I look at the house of God, I occasionally see those same things happen in some of the Lord’s people. At times, we get wound down and need a spiritual rewinding — a renewal, a refreshing, a recharged challenge so we can fulfill what we were put here to do — and there are some who have gotten broken. Some have minor problems that can be tweaked and fixed by the Lord, and some are so incredibly difficult to repair that a major undertaking of the Lord will be necessary.
For those who are children of God and in the family of God but sitting off somewhere in a corner unused, ineffective, and with a brokenness in their hearts over some great sin that they cannot get past or a broken relationship that seems to be like a huge weight on their backs day and night, know that God can mend you, repair you, restore you, forgive you, lift you, and put you back in service for Him. We are not put here just to learn, just to sit by with a beautiful smile on our faces. We are not put here with the gifts of God poured into our lives without serving. We are not for decorative purposes only. We are servants. We are workers. We are disciples. We are people who respond to do the Word of God as well as learn the Word of God.
The Apostle James was adamant in telling us to be not hearers of the word, but doers of the word (James 1:22). If you’ve got a sign hanging on your life announcing that you’re here for decorative purposes only, remove it. Let God take your hands, feet, voice, sweet spirit, knowledge, and energy and use you to bless those who pass by you and whom you pass by.
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.