A Digger or a Watcher?

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One day years ago, my two boys, Andy and Hal, were in the back yard playing with a neighborhood playmate, I was clipping grass in earshot of their conversation, being carried on as they played in the dirt. After arguing over who was going to make use of the two digging tools available, 4-year-old Andy finally resolved the matter by declaring, “All right, you be the diggers, and I’ll be the watcher.” Thereupon he assumed a comfortable position and began watching—and telling them how to do the digging.

As amusing as it seemed at the time, I have often thought since of how typical this scene was. There are those in every church who are content to be the “watchers.” They think the “digging” ought to be done all right, as long as someone else is willing to do it. Christians ought to be engaged in such things as winning souls, giving liberally to support the Lord’s cause, living righteously before their fellows, and taking advantage of each worship and study period for spiritual growth, but the “watchers” somehow feel that they don’t personally have to be concerned with such things. “Someone will do what needs to be done,” they seem to think. And thereupon they assume a comfortable position as a mere spectator.

But many “watchers” are not content to watch in silence. They somehow seem compelled to tell the “diggers” what is wrong with the “digging” that is being done. Has it ever seemed odd to you that often those who have so little to do with a congregation’s program of work are often the very ones who set themselves up as critics of the same? They may know just what the church needs to do, but just try getting them to do it! It is much easier to tell others how to do something than to do something.

The “digger” might as well prepare himself for criticism. No one has ever set out to accomplish anything without being criticized. What churches are commonly most criticized? Those that have dared to think, plan, and act “big.” What is true of churches is true of men. If you don’t want to be criticized, there is only one way to live—be a “watcher”—don’t do anything!


[Note: I wrote this article for and it was published in the Colorado and Jackson Streets Church of Christ Reminder, San Angelo, TX, June 9, 1967.]

Attribution: From thescripturecache.com; Dub McClish, owner and administrator.


Author: Dub McClish

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