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Ann Landers once quoted Elbert Hubbard in her column. She was replying to a question about bad-mouthing one’s employer and his company. Following is Mr. Hubbard’s statement:
If you work for a man, for heaven’s sake work for him. Speak well of him and stand by the institution he represents. Remember, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness. If you must condemn and eternally find fault, resign your position and when you are on the outside, damn to your heart’s content. But so long as you are a part of the company, do not condemn it.
I believe Mr. Hubbard speaks the truth. How unbecoming it is for an employee to debunk the firm or the man that he works for. It usually reflects at least as much on the “debunker” as on the “debunkee.” After all, no one forces him to work for such an awful company or boss. If it is so terrible, why doesn’t he move to greener pastures? Most dogs have more courtesy than to bite the hand that feeds them.
But this is not intended as an essay on labor-management relations. The loyalty for which Mr. Hubbard pleads in the business world is one that needs to exist in the church. Let me paraphrase Mr. Hubbard:
If you claim to work for Jesus, for heaven’s sake work for him. Speak well of him and stand by the church he owns and operates. Remember, an ounce of loyalty is worth a ton of hypocrisy. If you must condemn and eternally find fault with the church, its work and those who are really trying to serve Jesus, you should get out. Then, from the outside, attack, condemn, criticize the church to your heart’s content. But, so long as you claim to be a part of the church, do not condemn it.
How much irreparable damage is done to the church by its own members who are lacking in loyalty. They forget that in criticizing and attacking the church, they are giving Jesus the same treatment. The Lord felt every blow absorbed by the Jerusalem church from Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:5). No one forces a person to become or remain a part of the church. If one becomes so bitter against the church that he is trying to tear it down rather than build it up, honesty dictates that he either repent and ask his brethren and the Lord to forgive him, or that he get out. The church and the Lord both expect opposition from without, but it is neither wise nor fair to tolerate it from within. Let’s all reassess our church loyalty.
[Note: I wrote this article for and it was published in the January 27, 1977, edition of Granbury Gospel, weekly bulletin of the Church of Christ, Granbury, Texas, of which I was editor.]
Attribution: From thescripturecache.com; Dub McClish, owner and administrator.