|Recently, our youth group played a variation of “dodge-ball”. The twist was that there was a turn order so that every player would have a chance to participate. On a person’s turn, the player could move to a different spot or throw the ball at the other team, but not both.
We were all surprised when the biggest, strongest guy in the group immediately ran over and hid behind several players who were much smaller than he was. At first, we thought that it was a joke, but the big guy never took a chance to throw the ball. He would always run and hide behind someone else. As a result, he never scored any points for his team. (In fact, he hurt his own cause when I decided that he was worth double points if tagged. Guess who was immediately targeted by everyone on the opposing team?)
This young man was strong and healthy. There was no reason that he couldn’t handle getting hit with a soft, rubber ball. He simply didn’t want to experience the discomfort; so he ran and hid, hoping that no one would notice and ‘attack’ him. His actions on the dodge-ball court were reminiscent of the actions of so many Christians in the United States today.
So many Christians are afraid to take a stand for Christ because they don’t want the discomfort of being attacked by the world. They don’t want to be thought of as unusual or weird because they don’t follow the crowd; so they hide their faith and their convictions. As a result, they never accomplish anything for Christ.
This was not the Apostle Paul’s attitude. The Apostle Paul didn’t care if people thought he was crazy. Paul understood that pleasing God and giving the Gospel was far more important than what people thought of him. If his stands for the truth cost him friends and support, then Paul was willing to make that sacrifice because he knew that something far greater than man’s opinion awaited him in heaven.
Perhaps you’ve been hiding on the sidelines, or perhaps you’ve been going along with the crowd because you don’t want to alienate old friends. Remember the love that Jesus Christ has for you. Remember how He demonstrated that love by securing your salvation. After all that Jesus suffered for you, could you not take a stand for Him? Don’t be afraid of the insults and attacks of the world. In the light of eternity, they’ll be less troublesome than a targeted dodge-ball.