As a child most of us were asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As an adult when we first meet a new acquaintance we are asked, “What do you do?” Apparently career choice is Job # 1 in the civilian world.
This contrasts with the Military Ethic (full disclosure I have never been in the military) that completing the mission is Job # 1.
In the civilian world the emphasis is Me Centered as in “What do I want to do.” In the services the emphasis is on “What needs to be done.” The individuals needs is second to the goal.
But that’s not the whole story. The civilian (or secular) world fosters competition and in the process some competitors are left in the dust. In the Military the ethos of combat troops is “No Man is Left Behind.” Soldiers, Sailors and Marines will risk their lives to rescue a fallen companion. In the civilian world many rise to the top by stepping on the necks of others.
For those of us who call ourselves Christian we have a clear choice to make. What do we want to do as we grow up in our Christian walk. We need to decide if we are going to leave others in the dust or practice “No Man is Left Behind.”
All of us are sons or daughters. Some of us are parents, brothers or sisters. Most of us have friends or co-workers and even a few of us have enemies. If we are serious about claiming the title Christian then we MUST adopt the ethos that No One Gets Left Behind.
Some examples may help illustrate what I mean. A life long friend has in the past number of years abandoned the practice of his Christian faith. He is living with a woman who he is not married to. Everyone, including you, agrees they make a lovely couple and both are truly wonderful human beings. You have maintained, even built on, your friendship with him and now consider his significant other your friend. Your friendship is so strong that you are willing to risk your life for his, and have actually done so in the past.
You are informed that your friend has been diagnosed with cancer. It becomes clear with time that the cancer is going to take his life. You are keenly aware of his upbringing. You know what his parents believed and taught him to be true. You know what he professed as a young man since you have been close since childhood. Also you are keenly aware that you are NOT pure as the driven snow. But your friend will soon be dead and you both truly believe that all will face judgment. He is living in sin according to what you both believe. What do you do?
Do you keep the peace and hope for God’s mercy or do you speak plainly and tell him to use the time he has left to get right with God?
Another example. Someone you know was profoundly hurt by another person years ago. The injuries were both physical and emotional and also caused long term financial problems. There is no question where the guilt rests, it is on the other person. But now the injured party is dying as well, indeed they have only a day or two to live. They too are Christian and recited the Our Father many times.
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
You know they have not forgiven the person who hurt them. You visit them in the hospital for one last time. It is a certainty you will not see each other again on this side of eternity. What do you do?
The hard thing is to encourage them forgive as much as they can the person who hurt them so profoundly. They must do it because as a Christian that is what we are required to do. For the sake of their own salvation they must offer to forgive what the world considers the unforgivable.
We as Christians cannot wimp out when the mission requires us to speak the uncomfortable words. We must speak with love. We should try to speak with gentleness. We are called to speak clearly.
The lives of the battlefield wounded are dependent on the heroic actions of their comrades. The fate of souls sometimes hang in the balance of our actions.
We may pay a dear price for our actions. Our inaction may cost more.
How painful will it be for us in eternity if we know we left someone behind without trying to save them?
How joyful the feeling to know we did everything in our power to not leave anyone behind!
Warriors World Dad