Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Where Do You Stand?

Have you ever wondered where you stand with people? There are times where you have someone who may seem like they love you one minute, then hate you the next. Perhaps you have such wonderings in your job. One day, the job seems secure, but the next week, you are teetering on the edge, waiting for the push off of a cliff into the open air of unemployment. Such an existence leads us to either push too hard to figure out our standing or give up all-together, throwing our hands up in the air, lacking the passion that we once held.

Such was a reality in a job that I once had. The running joke was that we were all cattle, easily replaceable. The tactic, which initially worked, making everyone walk on eggshells and strive to perform at an even greater level, eventually gave way to sheer apathy. Regardless of what we did, we never knew where we stood. What we did know was this - to the company, we were not important.

Anyone who has found themselves in a similar place in their lives knows that such a feeling is horrendous. Too often, that rollercoaster ride ends with a crash and burn that leaves scars for the rest of our lives. As I have grown older, I have learned that the rollercoaster ride is not worth the wait in line. Just as excruciating as it was for us to be in that position, we must wonder how our actions and our decisions affects the One who deserves our best.

I often wonder how Christ feels about our relationships with Him. Does He wonder how important He is to us? Does He know where He stands in our lives? The "Christian" reactive response is to say that the Lord is first in our lives, that He is the centerpiece, the foundation, and the aspiration of all our activity. But is He really? Do our actions, and our priorities tell not only the Lord, but also the world, where we stand?

People argue about what the lost world looks for in the Christian community. The simple answer to that is the same answer to what the Lord is looking for in our lives - consistency. Consistency shows the dedication of the heart, the direction of the soul. Consistency refuses convenience because commitment is more valuable than comfort. Jesus showed us how much we matter to Him - His love seen in the manger, demonstrated on the cross. The cross tells us that we never have to question whether He loves us, that we never have to wonder where He stands. There is zero question about the commitment of the Lord to those who follow Him. He gave His all, for all. Yet when He looks at us, what have we given to Him - who is He to us?

Jesus said, "Therefore, whoever confesses Me before men, him I will confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32 NKJV) The line is drawn. There is no middle ground. Are we standing with Him, confessing our relationship with the Lord in word and in the actions of our lives, or are we trying to straddle a fence that does not exist. When Jesus looks at us, when He looks at our lives, does He know that we stand with Him? If not, we are standing in the wrong place, standing for the wrong things. Be a person of conviction. Be consistent. Let there never be a question of who you are, what others mean to you, what is important to you, and where you stand in life.