In just a few days on Nov. 11, we will commemorate Veterans Day. I would like to say a great big thank you to all those who are veterans and to those family members of veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice. This past spring, our son Austin joined the U.S. Marine Corps and will finish his job training within a few weeks. The Marines are taught a set of core values that came to my mind as I thought about what to share with you today. These core values are honor, courage and commitment. Honor is described as exemplifying ethical and moral behavior and uncompromising integrity. Courage is described as mental, moral and physical strength to do the right thing and to lead by example even under stress and pressure. Commitment is defined as dedication, concern for others and determination to achieve a standard of excellence. These core values guide and shape the U.S. Marine.
So how does this relate to anything you personally may be interested in? It is my opinion that these core values should shape every American and especially those who profess to be Christians. It has become apparent to me throughout the past couple of decades that our society no longer values integrity, courage and commitment. And most sadly, the “church” has become an organism of such, like a chameleon, which changes colors according to its environment rather than being the world changer that God expects and Christ gave his life for. Compromise instead of courage and commitment has become part of the church today. And where there is compromise, there surely is not integrity.
Jesus continually was under attack by the religious society of the day. He was questioned about His teachings and manner of interpreting the law, yet Jesus had the courage (doing the right thing even under stress) to reply with the uncompromising truth (commitment) and simply go His way (honor or integrity). I do not think one could find anywhere in Scripture that Jesus was offended by those who opposed Him. In fact, He knew they were blinded to true spiritual things and instructed the disciples to pray for those who opposed them and despised them. Jesus stated that the truth of the gospel will offend those who reject it, so we should expect opposition but should not be offended enough to ever compromise the truth.
I encourage each of us, especially those professing to be Christians, to examine our personal lives to determine if we are living a life of honor, courage and commitment to what we think is the truth of the Scripture and through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. I had a guest speaker come to a Sunday evening service in another community where I pastored and I cannot remember the scripture text he used but clearly can remember a statement he made. “If you are going to call yourself a Christian, then live like a Christian. If you are not going to live like a Christian don’t call yourself one.” Let’s get back to honor, courage and commitment.
Tim Douglas is pastor at Ridgeview Church of God in Craig. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.