Stand firm, and you will win life. - Luke 21:19 (NIV)
Franklin sat with a couple of friends under the oak tree just near the outer boundary of the playground. School recess brought dread into their lives as they attempted to dodge their daily prescription of taunting from the "in crowd". Ignoring the jeers was noble advice, but in the face of constant mocking... it was easier for them to simply shrink into the shadows.
The playground is where ridicule, bullying, shame, and embarrassment are perfected. Young boys with low self-esteem taunt one another to hide their own fears.
Fast forward 20 years to the job site, the board room, the factory floor, the office bullpen, the congressional floor...our places of work. The playground morphs into these places as the same game of bullying, isolation, taunting, and hiding unfold in more sophisticated manners.
As a follower of Christ, we know that ganging up, isolating, and attacking someone is in opposition of Christ's teachings...does that stop the attacks?
As a follower of Christ, we know that shrinking into the shadows to avoid persecution is opposite of how Christ taught us to follow Him...does that stop the shame?
The rules on the playground will continue to shift as more Christian men stand up for their faith. Stand up to the bully who mocks your belief. Stand up for those who have yet to discover their strength in Christ.
Move out of the shadows and the dark edges of the playground. Be the light for those who need assistance. Sprint into the arena with power and strength fully backed by Almighty God. Stand Firm and win this life! Stand Firm and defend the fatherless, the marginalized, the oppressed.
THE RIGHT NEXT STEP:
What one thing can you do today to openly demonstrate your faith among your peers?
PRAY: God, forgive me for shrinking into the corner. I want to finish my life with courage and intensity for Your sake. Give me the words to speak when my opportunity arises to stand up for you. Take over my thoughts so I can begin to live with intention for You. Amen.