04 July 2006

On being a good soldier...

Nowadays, many of us consider daily the selfless sacrifices made by those called into military service to preserve the freedoms and way of life with which we are so blessed.  We pay special tribute to the military men and women, as well as their families, serving our country and engaged in the war on terror-to honor them and to show our gratitude for their service.  It is right that we do so.  It gives something back to them and hopefully inspires us to live beyond ourselves and our comforts.

Most Christians are not in the military but there are parallels between serving our country in the military and serving our Lord in the church.  Both appeal to ideals which transcend self and eagerly and willingly serve on the behalf of others.  Both call us to the highest levels of character and integrity so that we can trust in and count on one another.  Both look beyond the cares and comforts of the here and now, patiently endure trials and suffering and confidently face the future.  And just as a soldier is called to duty from the affairs of civilian life, a soldier for Christ is called to duty from the concerns of the world.  In both there is a submission to the authority of another.

Fulfilling the calling of either does not come easily.  It can be difficult, but one way to meet the challenge is by the inspiration of example.  We gain that inspiration by reading...reading contemporary accounts or biographies from history either on the battlefield or the mission field.  Let us take up and read and be inspired to be a good soldier for Christ Jesus.