Give the crowd something great to watch
I was 20 and decided to take some time off from college. I took a summer job in Hamilton Ohio loading freight cars (a job that helped me decide to go back to college). The first few days it took me 11 hours to load a single container. By the second week, I was loading cars in under 8 hours and thinking I could load two cars a day.
One morning I was on a freight elevator moving a cotton bale with a hand truck. My muscle-bound coworker (nicknamed the brawny-one) looked at me, pressed his palms flat against the elevator doors and in an amazing show of strength jammed the doors open on the moving car, stopping us between floors.
He leaned back against the wall and said, “my friends and I think you’ve been working awfully hard and might want to take a break.” It was a clear message.
It was not the first time in my life I encountered peer pressure and it would not be the last. We face choices every day. We can choose to go along and fit in, even if it means lowering our standards. Or we can choose to stand up, stand out, and make life affirming choices. It is a tough choice.
The apostle Paul wrote us, “do not be conformed to this world.” It’s a difficult word, but one that brings grace with the challenge (Romans 12:2). Our willingness to stand up to the crowds’ bullying demonsrates God’s will to an unbelieving world.
Missions is about incarnation, living out our faith to the unbelieving world that is watching us. Our lives are the only bible most people will ever see. Let’s give them something great to watch.