Some mornings, quiet is obliterated by dividing words. This is one of those. I am troubled by the hatred, the divisiveness, and the sensationalism in the news today. It’s sometimes more dehumanizing and dishonoring than it is culture-changing for good.
I really have no words…yet my heart rails against the wrong in our society. Still, what good will that do?
My mama used to say, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” [This wisdom originated with others, attributed both to Peter Marshall and Malcolm X, but its counsel took root in my heart through a Godly mom.]
I do want to take a stand…but don’t sense that any stand I take will matter. It’s however not right for me to just do nothing. Therefore I stand with Jesus who stood for and died for all of us. He called us to love God and to love our enemy, to return good for evil, to forgive the unforgiveable, to care for the oppressed, to show both justice and mercy. He was no “respecter of persons”* and showed no favoritism to one people or another. He gave us the example of being wholly about the purposes of God and wholly about the good of humankind. These are not in opposition. Standing with Christ is not about standing with a particular political or socio-cultural agenda. It is taking a stand on behalf of the One who holds love and truth in perfect unity. It is taking a stand for the sake of us all – not dividing us, setting one against another, but somehow bringing us together. In this kind of life, I might could make a difference.
We all must choose where we stand – the high road, the narrow path, whichever way we course our lives. In fact, it is impossible to NOT choose. The way I choose is described in the essay below, a copy of which I found in my mom’s collected treasures. It reminds me of great oratories of such as Dr. S. M. Lockridge.
The Fellowship Of The Unashamed
(Author Unknown – Cited by Dr. Bob Moorehead, in his book Words Aptly Spoken)
I am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.” The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Christ Jesus. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future secure.
I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I now live by His presence, lean by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.
My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I am a disciple of Christ Jesus. I must give until I drop and preach until all know. And when my time is up, He will have no problem recognizing me. My colors will be clear.
I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…(Romans 1:16).
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” – Acts 10:34-43