Friday, September 5, 2014

The Army Socks

"Then He said, 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.'"  Luke 9:23

When I was a senior in high school at Thomas Sumter Academy, I received a post card one day from the Army.  They were advertising these cool socks with the green stripes on top.  All I had to do was check a box, fill in my contact information, and mail the form back in.  I wanted the free Army socks so I filled everything out and sent it back in.

A couple of weeks later, the socks arrived in the mail.  I was thrilled.  The next day I proudly wore them to school.

Then a couple weeks after that, I was sitting in the library for study hall.  Mrs. Sheridan, our Guidance Counselor, walked up to me with a confused look on her face.  She said, "David, there's an Army recruiter sitting in my office right now, and he wants to talk with you."  My heart almost jumped out my chest.

See, I just wanted the socks.  I didn't actually want to take on the hard life of a soldier.  In no way was I Army material.

During the meeting I made it clear I did not see myself entering the Army.  And that Army recruiter was probably thinking, "Thank goodness!"  After the meeting, my mom, who also worked at Thomas Sumter Academy, had to restrain herself from killing me.

I had wasted that recruiter's time.  I should not have sent in that card unless I was strongly considering a future in the military.  It was not one of my brighter moves.

I wanted the benefit of cool socks without the responsibility of being a soldier.

And that's a lot like people who look to Jesus for the benefit of eternity in Heaven without the responsibility of being a disciple.

People want to sign up for Christianity because Heaven looks and sounds great.  But they really aren't interested in Jesus Christ's call to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him.  Just like me with the socks, they want all the believer's benefits without any of the disciples' responsibility.

Let's remember this:  Our Savior and Lord calls us to live and die for Him.  We are to make our lives much more about Him and much less about ourselves.  This calls for us to make sacrifices and give our everything to Him.

Christianity is not just a "Get Out Of Hell Free" card.  It's a change of heart and mind which leads us to living a new life of pleasing and honoring God.  It's about responding gladly to the saving grace of God by giving Him all that we have and all that we are.

Remember that we are called to serve God.  Let's do that rather than use God for an escape route out of Hell.  He deserves way more than that.

Let's be disciples of our Savior and Lord.  Let's live for Him.  And let's remember privilege and responsibility walk hand-in-hand.

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