Vol.XVII No.III Pg.1
May 1980

Paul "Shrank Not"

Robert F. Turner

In Acts 20:27 (A.S.) Paul says, "I shrank not from declaring unto you the whole counsel of God." Paul was Sanforized — the same size before, during, and after the wringer. He preached it the same "in season, out of season" (2 Tim. 4:2).

Cloth shrinks because 1) In thread making the fibers (wool, cotton, etc) are stretched. When they are wet they return to their original length. Or, 2) Water particles in the space of a loose weave adhere to the fiber, and as the water dries the smaller water particles draw the weave closer together. If the cloth could be woven tightly, without stretching fibers; or, if something is added to prevent water particles from adhering to the fibers, shrinking is reduced.

Maybe Paul "shrank not" because he went into Christ at true face value, no false motives, no stretched character. Then, his faith and dedication to the Lord were such that he did not allow outside influences to "cling" to him. The world could come and go-blow hot or cold, wet or dry — but he was unaffected, steadfast in faith. Loosely woven brethren seem to consider Christianity as something apart from their total life. Serving Christ is equated with public worship, and in between there is plenty of space for worldly pursuits that cling to or invade their more noble intentions and shrink them into little caricatures of genuine saints. True saints meet material obligations "as to the Lord" (Col. 3:17-f); nor do they forget that "together" activities help to "close ranks" against Satan.

And as we incorporate the ideals and examples of Christ into our life, and He dwells in us through faith, we are less concerned for fame and fortune in this world. The pleasures of sin lose their appeal, they cannot cling to us and draw us back. The Sanforized (Christianized?) person is saturated with his love for God (active ingredient — God-like love) and there is little room for other loves.

We, like Paul, must act with conviction. If we do not have to "adjust" our size to worship God on Sunday, we will "shrink not" when the going gets rough on Monday through Saturday.