Posted by: Joe Palmer | April 10, 2010

The Time I Became Unfaithful

The Time I Became Unfaithful

By Joe Palmer

A few years ago I joined a civic group. I went to the meetings faithfully. I spoke up, participated in activities, and was eventually asked even to help lead. I enjoyed going for the most part, but one day I didn’t go. I’m not sure why I didn’t go the first time. I probably had a good reason. Then later I didn’t go again… and again… and again. I never went back.

I felt bad about it when I got the emails reminding me of meetings, or when I saw the posters advertising something associated with the group. I actually felt guilty for not going, for neglecting doing my part, but I didn’t go back.

Yesterday, I saw one of the members for the first time. She came up and politely asked me where I had been. We spoke for a moment and parted. Why didn’t I go back? No one ever asked me too. No one called. No one stopped by. I knew they wondered what happened to me but they did nothing. Perhaps they thought I was mad about something? I wasn’t. It wasn’t in particular anyone’s business to invite me back. They were likely all busy. They perhaps were at a loss for what to say. They might have made all kinds of excuses but they never asked, they never came, and I never came back to the group.

I wonder how many of the people in the church who have drifted away could tell a similar story? I’m afraid it would be far too many.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

In this parable we learn that a search for lost members must be intentional. The shepherd decided to go search. He didn’t expect the sheep to come back by itself, in fact, he carried it back. It took time. It was effective. He found the sheep. It was an occasion of great joy.

Take some time this week to go look for a friend you have been missing from our church for a while. You’ll be glad you did, and so will they.

Joe Palmer
801 E John Sims Parkway,
Niceville, FL 32578



  1. We started Monday Night For The master here several years ago. There is never a member that is absent that is not checked on and followed up on. You will not fall through the cracks here. You can walk out the doors, climb out the windows, but we are trying our best to tighten up the cracks.

    People that fall away have to make a conscious decision to not come back, not to the church but to the Lord. There has got to come a time when I realize I have to be responsible for my own salvation. Christ died for those in the church, (that is, to put them there in His family.) I will give an account of my stewardship before the Lord and the greatest gift that has been given to me, (us) is the gift of Hos Son, (Eph. 2:8ff cf. Rom. 5:5ff).

    The saddest situation is when someone leaves and no one really misses them.
    A family moved here from Pensacola, a prominent person. As is my habit when new folks come, I called the elders to see if they were faithful and how we can help them. I talked to an elder and told him this family had been here six months and wanted to place membership. His response, “I didn’t know they had moved.” WOW.
    Elders… wake up…. how big was that crack?

    Love you Joe and looking forward to being reunited in June with you and the good brethren there. Mike Raine, Kiwi

  2. Good response Mike. It is a great thing you are doing. It takes everyone loving others enough to do the work.


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