Charles Naylor, 1920
No man likes a balky horse. It is a nuisance. It may be fine in appearance, strong, and able to do a great amount of work, and it may pull along very well on good roads; but when a mud-hole is encountered, it is likely to stop, and absolutely refuse to budge, regardless of the efforts of the driver, just when it should get down to business.
Some people are as balky as some horses. When everything goes to please them — then they are "good Christians" and often seem very zealous. But as soon as something does not go just to suit them — then they draw back in the harness and refuse to pull a pound. What is the matter? They are balkers. Others do well when public sentiment is in favor of the Christian truth; but as soon as it becomes a reproach to walk in the straight and narrow way — then they cannot bear the little persecution that comes, and immediately they become balkers.
I have seen others who made much noise in meeting and talked a great deal outside about their religion and their doings — but who, when it came time for them to make some sacrifice for the cause or to do some work that required consecration on their part — they were ready to balk at once and throw the responsibility on others who were not balky.
There are others who will work hard and sacrifice for the cause — if they can direct operations; but as soon as they cannot lead in the work, or if someone questions the wisdom of something they do — then they are ready to throw up everything and quit and have no more to do with it, no matter how much good they might do if they were content to fill any place in which they could be useful. They are balkers. They will work only when they can have the honor of leadership. Like some balky horses, they will work only so long as they can have everything their own way.
There are many ways in which people balk. There are the ones who are always giving up their Christian profession at every little thing — they are chronic balkers. God can never depend on them. Just when he wants something done that they might do if they were in condition for work — then they have a balky spell and are of no use. Then there are the ones who cannot go to a church meeting because the sun is too hot, or because it looks a little like rain. Others balk if the wind blows a little, or if they do not feel just as good as they have felt at other times. Some go along with a profession until new attraction comes to them — they stop attending meetings or quit professing. In any of these cases, they are balkers.
Do not be a balker. If there is work to be done — then do it. If there are sacrifices to be made — then make them. If there is persecution to bear — then bear it. If there are difficulties to be overcome — then overcome them. If there are hard places to pull through — then pull through them. If you can fill only a minor place — then fill it well. If you have trials and difficulties and discouragements — then pull through anyway. Do not be a balker. If you have acquired the habit already — then quit it. Get down to business and pull your share. And do not try to pull independently; pull with the rest of God's people. All pull together. "If any man draws back — then my soul shall have no pleasure in him."