Posted by Stacy Lewis on April 08, 2014 @ 2:11 PM

Written by: Craig Waddell, elder at the church of Christ that meets in Center, KY

“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mt. 4:19)  With these words, Jesus invited a couple of professional fishermen to accept a change of lifestyle.  Until this time, Peter’s and Andrew’s lives revolved around casting nets into the Sea of Galilee.  When they chose to accept Jesus’ call, they understood that He was not commissioning them to fish for men as a pastime, but as a way of life.  Did they ever fish for fish again?  Yes, but never with the same enthusiasm or for the same reason.

We have been invited to accept an identical commission.  The disciples were told to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you . . .” (my emphasis) (Mt. 28:19, 20) The task of fishing for men has been passed down from generation to generation of christians. Those who successfully carry out their assignment realize that it must form the hub of their lives. Many christians have a very difficult time understanding this concept.

Most of us, from the time we are young, are taught that making money is to be the focal point around which we build and develop our lifestyles.  We may be taught that we should never love money, and that we should never flaunt our success before others.  We may be taught that we are to make money for the noble purposes of supporting ourselves and our families, and to generously give to those in need, but in the end, we are taught that our career is to come first, occupying the biggest portion of our time, and then our hobbies may be engaged in as a form of relaxation. For most people, fishing is a pastime, something done during leisure time, when there’s nothing more important pressing, a way of enjoying spending some of that hard earned money.  Centering our entire lives around such an activity would be considered foolish by the majority of our society.

Is it no wonder then that we seem to view fishing for men more as a pastime rather than a lifestyle?  When we hear the term “fishing”, our mind automatically thinks of an activity that should be done only when there is nothing more productive to do; it does not matter that the souls of men, the objects of our angling, are the most valuable catch in the world, we still view teaching others about Jesus as a sideline and not a way of life.  So the question today:  Is fishing for men your hobby or your lifestyle?  No matter what we choose as an occupation, may our lives always revolve around a desire to fish.

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