I’ve always been interested in the varied ways that people respond under pressure. Pressure, danger, peril….it has a remarkably condensing affect on people. Their bravado, their facade, it all collapses together in to one dense ball of what they are.
And there you have it….the essence of them. Some are full of steely resolve. Others are full of hot air. It’s hard to tell who’s who when life is all sunshine in the park, but a well placed lightening strike can make the distinction in a nanosecond.
In being intellectually and spiritually honest, you cannot think too much about life without thinking about death, and you cannot think to much about this age without anticipating the next. To focus on life while not dealing with death or to be consumed with this world at the expense of preparing for the next is to admit your thoughts and emotions are half baked.
I’m pained with watching the tight grip the church has on the here and now, living lives largely no different than their neighbors…maybe a little more moral (though not necessarily) but surely reflecting the same meta-values for self preservation and delaying pain, often at the expense of growth.
Jesus knew we’d struggle with this…being afraid of all the wrong things and being brave about things that demand no bravery at all….when he said the words recorded in Matthew 10:27
“…do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.”
So what are you afraid of anyway? What causes a quaking within you? The thought of a premature death….or the thought of a life you failed to live? The ironic part is that those who cling to this life with a death grip really don’t get to keep it anyway. They die as dead as the rest, perhaps a few years later….but just as dead, and often more so, having died inside long before the shell stopped moving.
Revelation 12 speaks of a group of overcomers…those who conquer evil by the work of Jesus and the purity of their spoken creed. It seems counterintuitive, but those He singles out as overcomers actually lose their lives….yet they win it all, and they win because they do not love their lives to the point of being afraid to die.
The man who is not afraid to die is truly free to live. Cower now and you’ll cower for eternity. Stand and fight – even unto death – and you’ll stand forever.
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