Friday, October 30, 2009

What Kind of Friend Am I?

A runner or a stander?

Beyond the issues raised in the link above, here's another question: Are we runners or standers when it comes to living faithfully with and for Christ in our every day lives?

Do we stand by Christ, the Word of God in the Bible, and the will of God?

Or do we spend our days running in "the waffle house"?

When, on April 2, 1521, Martin Luther was commanded by the emperor and representatives of the pope to recant--to repudiate--his writings which demonstrated that we can only be saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ and that the Bible is to be the supreme authority over our life, faith, and proclamation, Luther was a stander.

With his life in the balance, he stood with the God revealed to all humanity through Jesus Christ. He told the gathered authorities and petty royalty and princes of Europe gathered there:
Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.
Standers are often the first ones to be fitted for crosses and burial vaults.

Even today, it's hard to be a stander...
  • when faced with an overwhelming desire to be popular at school
  • when wanting to fit in with the people in our community
  • when facing the lure of sexual intimacy outside of marriage
  • when an ethical shortcut means more money in our pocket
  • when it's so easy to talk about a person you don't like behind their back
  • when the injustices and unemployment and hunger you hear about aren't happening in your own neighborhood or country (or so you think)
  • when hate crimes happen to "other people"
  • when your very own Christian denomination has repudiated the will of God.
I know how hard it is. I've been a runner more times than I care to remember. I battle with my faithlessness each day in daily repentance and renewal.

It's easier to be a runner than it is to be a stander. But in the end, runners don't really run away from trouble; they run away from God.

Standers have troubles, just as Jesus promises; but, in their standing, they really run into the arms of God. (See here and here.)

God, help me to be a stander!

In Christ's Name.


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