Some time ago a businessman was having a visit from an important investor that had the potential to greatly benefit his company. In the middle of their discussion they took a coffee break, and the investor started to discuss some personal problems. He got quite upset as he was relating a business deal that had gone sour and started to curse profusely.
“I am sorry,” said the other man, “but what you just said, really hurt me. I am a Christian, and I believe dearly in the God that you just ridiculed. Please don’t say these things in my presence.”
The investor looked stunned for a moment and suddenly roared: “What do you think, man? I am a Christian too. I even teach Sunday school.” The first man shook his head and quietly said: “Maybe so, but it’s hard to believe. You certainly don’t act like it.”Right away a little voice in his head whispered, “Nicely done; you just ruined the deal. Congratulations.”
A month later the investor came back. This time he had brought his wife along.
“Honey,” he said to his wife, “This is the man who set me straight the other day.”
His wife looked at the businessman with a big smile. “Thank you, Sir, for standing up to my husband. He really needed it, and he has been a different man since that day.”
It’s not a good idea to want your bread buttered on both sides. Jesus had something to say about it too, when He said, “You cannot serve two masters.” But it’s something that we all have to deal with from time to time. After all, the world often knocks on our door and tries to weaken our convictions. She mumbles something like, “Don’t worry, faith is fine, but you have to be reasonable. Don’t become one of those fanatics. Let us act in moderation. You can have your cake and eat it too.” However, when we go down that path we are certainly entering very dangerous territory. Of course we need to be pliable and we should not be harsh, unbendable and overly religious, but there’s a time when we will have to stand up and be counted. Dare to swim agains the stream of public opinion for the sake of the Kingdom. If we harden our hearts and we don’t pay attention to the gentle whispers of our Savior; God’s truth will eventually lose its power over our minds, and pretty soon we are not sure anymore what actually the truth is.
In 1947, Chaplain Peter Marshall spoke the following words, “Our Father, we yearn for a better understanding of spiritual things, that we may know surely what Thy will is for us and for our Nation. Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for—because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”
Those words still hold true today and can spur us to action. Let’s be on guard so we will not compromise at those moments when God is asking us to stand. Those moments; when we are tempted to yield to the world for fear of losing friendship, money or respect and we hope God won’t mind.
It is clear from the scriptures that God would want us to be wholehearted, stouthearted men. He wants us to be loving, kind and harmless as the doves, but He also said something about being wise as the snake.* Stay true then to your convictions and the values of the Kingdom.
“And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”* Forever is a long, long time, so choose God and His values over the world’s.
* Matthew 10:16
* 1 John 2:17