Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Need for Humility

What would you say if I told you that starting tomorrow, all public displays of Christianity were to be outlawed?

What if I told you that the penalty for breaking the law was not death or jail, but confiscation of your savings and raising your taxes to 75%?

What if I told you that you would, for as long as you practiced Christianity or showed you were a Christian, live in abject poverty with nothing to show for it and die in obscurity?

Would you still hold fast to what you believed, attend worship and live a life that showed your faith?

Now I use these unrealistic, extreme examples to make a point: how far would you go to truly live the faith you have been called to live?

To me, it is relatively easier to say I would die for my faith than to live for it. As Paul says, "to die is gain." I know that when I leave this plane of existence, I am in Paradise. No more suffering, no more sorrow, no more pain.

To live for my faith however, is something very different. Though I know that this life is "but a passing shadow" and a brief span in the grand scheme of things, it can feel like it takes forever. Now Paul also writes that "to live is Christ," but consider the kind of life that Christ lived. He was rejected, hated and crucified. Paul writes that he hope that he will be ashamed in nothing, but that Christ would be magnified in his body by either his life or death. He was willing to take whatever came in any form and live or die for his faith in Christ.

This is why we need so desperately to live in a state of humility. To be humble. It is so easy to get so worked up over what we see as assaults on our freedom and liberty that we will turn to someone, anyone, who will claim to put us back on top. The human need to take back what we feel was stolen from us is strong, but that is not the way of Christ.

Now don't mistake what I am saying for complete and utter pacifism in the face of one who desires to bury us. I am not saying sit back and do nothing. I am saying that whatever we do, we must remain driven first by Christ and our desire to walk as He walked. Our integrity must remain in Him and no one else.

Don't misunderstand, if we desire to live this way, to walk in the steps Jesus walked in, it affects everything in our lives. It affects our work, our homes, our entertainment and our motivations. It changes what we say. It even changes how we vote.

In August, Ann Coulter said of Donald Trump's immigration plan, 
"I don't care if @realDonaldTrump wants to perform abortions in White House after this immigration policy paper."
Now she said that as hyperbole. Its what she does. She is a shock-jock of the highest order. But saying this so denigrates the reality of what abortion is and what it does, that it taints any statement or sentiment attached to it. It's up there with Sara Palin comparing waterboarding to baptizing terrorists. It runs on the same sentiment where politics overtake faith.

Politics is not the only area to be careful in though. We as Christians must be the kind of people who will take any hit, pay any price to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When our culture lifts up sin as goodness and goodness as sin, the answer is not a letter-writing campaign or petitions or even boycotts. The answer is to go out and make more followers of Christ. That is where the real difference will be made.

Can you imagine what would happen, how upside-down this country would be turned, if the millions and millions of dollars spent fighting the "culture wars" was spent on bringing people to Christ? How many people could be reached and saved if the finances, overhead, time and energy spent fighting companies, celebrities and politicians was being quietly used to bring as many people as possible into the Christian faith?

I would wager than within 5 years people would not even recognize this country, and within 10 years Christians would make up such an enormous segment of the population that the culture would shift right along with it (because culture companies like movie studios, clothing companies, etc. love nothing so much as making money).

But in the likely event where that does not happen, we must be those who stand firm and faithful to what we are called. To be modest in dress and action, to be kind in word and deed, to be genuine in our dealings and generous with our resources. Above all, we must be the kind of people who submit ourselves to the will of Christ, who turn away from people we know are evil (even when they say the right things), and who are willing to give up those things which flail against our Savior at every given opportunity.

Instead of screaming from the mountaintops, may we go into the valleys of hurt and reach the lost. Instead of flooding the coffers of political machines, may we fill the needs of those in poverty. Instead of desiring the world to look at us, may we become as nothing so that we may become all things to all men.

May we let go of ourselves, and walk humbly with our Savior.

1 comment:

  1. A very tall order sir, but that's what the Word appears to be saying. Well said, as usual. Thank you.