Thursday, February 16, 2006

How do you stand?

In the midst of your occupation - how do you stand?
How do you stand in your walk?
How do you stand in your talk? - How do you stand?

We’ve heard the cliché (and I think even a song or two) that says, “If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

Perhaps a better way to put it would be, “You ARE on trial for your soul - is there any salvation to save you?”

In other words, do you really believe what you say you believe? Do you believe it enough to live it?

I’m not talking about “in your face, hit you over the head with it, woe is me, martyr -complex” Christianity.

I’m talking about, “they will know we are Christians by our love” and “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory.”

If you’re in a situation where Christians are being made fun of, do you stand, or do you just keep silent? If sinful behavior or demeaning language, or crude joking is taking place around you, do you speak up, or “let them have their fun”?

Do your friends and colleagues know you are a Christian, or do you only speak of it when you’re around other “known” Christians?

There is a way to stand, and still love - they are not mutually exclusive behaviors. We have only to look to the example of our Savior. He loved, but He was intolerant of injustice, and He was intolerant of sin - in any shape, form, or fashion.

Paul said that we are to “believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths” that Jesus Christ is Lord. He did not say, “believe in our hearts (all the time) and confess with our mouths (when it is safe and doesn’t affect our jobs, our friendships, or our social standings) that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

He must be Lord all the time, or He is not Lord at all!

How do you stand?

Father, I lift up those who are having a hard time standing. It is difficult. In the midst of our professional lives, where we must “make our living” where we must not “rock the boat” where we must “maintain our professional edge” we often fear ridicule and being ostracized. We fear the consequence of being “one of those…”

In the midst of our social lives, where we “let our hair down” where we “go to have fun” where we want to be “one of the gang” we fear laughter and mockery. We fear being “left out…”

And in the midst of our family lives - Oh God! - In our family lives, it is sometimes so difficult. These are the folks who know us best - the ones who knew us “before” and know us “during.” These are the ones who see us when we’re tired, and hurting, and vulnerable. These are the ones who see how we react ALL the time.

Father, may we just wrap ourselves in the mantle of Your Grace and Love and wear that wherever we go, whomever we’re with. May we not be afraid, or ashamed to Stand. “And having done all - to stand…”

In the Name of the One who never waivered - our Lord and our God… Amen.


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