A few weeks back, a few of us went camping at one of the cleanest campgrounds we’ve ever stayed at. Set in the countryside, the peace and quiet couldn’t have satisfied me more. Our children loved the playground and the pool most of all but when we drove into the camp–both areas were silent. No children were splashing or climbing. It didn’t seem right to me and it almost seemed eerie. Pools are for swimming in right? And playgrounds are for playing on right? If everyone stays home and doesn’t participate–it doesn’t feel right.
Our kids wanted to climb all over every piece of equipment and they made sure I was standing by to catch them if they’d fall. I wouldn’t leave them because they are my children. Some of them got ideas in their heads to run, hang, and climb on things they shouldn’t have but I was there to guide them back.
I had put the trip out of my mind until swimming lessons this week and a statement by the kids’ teacher jogged my memory of our camping trip. She was teaching our daughter how to float on her back and demonstrated what happens when a chin or a stomach drops into the water–she sinks and her ears fill up. The teacher said that one small part is able to direct the entire body–in both right and wrong ways.
Just like our kids, sometimes we and our churches find ourselves sinking fast and slipping up in situations that God intended for His glory. For whatever reason, sometimes we shift what we believe and begin to flail. At that moment, isn’t it vital to receive help when we need it and value someone telling us where we are going wrong? I believe it takes courage to listen and it takes courage to speak up. I want to encourage anyone in the church today to go–speak up in love where you’ve kept quiet and reach out in mercy to those in need. If someone is struggling near us and we know it, should we just stand by and let them plummet? Remember, one small part of the body will affect the rest of it.
In saying all this today, I must share the burdens upon my heart. I’ve felt so pained this week by the reports of some churches rejecting the Bible as their guide and slipping into what’s socially celebrated instead. In addition to that, some people who are remaining faithful to their Biblical convictions are in the news mocked, rejected, and punished. I’m reaching out now to anyone in similar situations to say–by God’s grace, remain faithful. Don’t trade the treasure you have in Christ for man’s approval. Rather, hang on to it, dig into the word of God, fervently seek Him in prayer, and allow Him to guide your steps as His own.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)