We human beings love to clump ourselves into categories. Depending upon what we feel is important, we long to be part of this group—but exempt from that one. This is why so many of us spent our high school years trying to snag a place with the cool crowd while maintaining distance from the not-so-cool crowd. Too often, we hang on to the “us-versus-them” mentality as adults—but as believers, we have no right to think in these terms. Why not? Because for all the differences between one Christian and the next, we all knocked on the same door to be saved.
Think about it: the unsaved philanthropist is no “less lost” than the unsaved sex offender.
No matter how noble a life he’s living, when a person first knocks, he does so alongside the shoplifter, the gossip, and the prostitute. And even after ten or twenty or sixty years of Christian living, apart from grace we’re all still beggars stumbling around in pitch darkness. This is what makes a joke of our self-importance: we start out side by side, and although we might spend our lives in a way that’s more pleasing to God than the next person, at the end we’re once again side by side—at the door of heaven only because of the blood of Jesus.
“For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple. You didn’t earn it, not one of us did, so don’t go around bragging that you must have done something amazing” (Eph. 2.8-9, Voice).
Lately, the Lord’s been prompting me to do some video blogs along with written blogs. I suppose the correct word is “vlog,” but I’m not entirely sure because I’m technologically challenged—which explains, I hope, the rather poor quality of this video. In short, I have no idea what I’m doing regarding the technology, but God’s Word “is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot” (Jer. 20), so it’s time to stop procrastinating and just do it!
Lately, God has been challenging me on almost a daily basis to decide what I believe and then stand up for it, no matter what others might think, no matter if I come across as radical or even foolish. He has allowed me to be pushed into corners where there’s no happy medium, so that I must either defer to unrighteousness or profess and defend the truth—and then live accordingly. He is eradicating the “middle ground” and challenging me to come out of hiding as far as who I am in Him.
For too long, with few exceptions, the typical American Christian has been able to tiptoe and dance around controversial topics; it’s entirely possible to go for years without having to stand up and declare what you believe regarding matters like the sanctity of life or the definition of marriage or the significance of sexual purity. In the process, we’ve bought in to the lie that there are no absolutes, that everything is relative. More and more, we’ve learned to live in the grey areas until we’ve forgotten that there is light and there is darkness.
We’re so desensitized to sin that we’re offended by the word “sin” rather than by the things that dishonor the Lord.
Not so long ago, it was understood that a wise man gave his allegiance to God. Now, it has become second nature to excuse, defend, and even celebrate the things that offend God. We’ve become compromising and spineless.
But not for long. The tide is turning, light and dark are polarizing, and soon we’re going to have to choose, and there will be no grey area in which to hide. Lord, embolden us to defend Your honor, embrace truth, and obey You at all cost.