The world needs people…
who cannot be bought;
whose word is their bond;
who put character above wealth;
who possess opinions and a will;
who are larger than their vocations;
who do not hesitate to take chances;
who will not lose their individuality in a crowd;
who will be as honest in small things as in great things;
who will make no compromise with wrong;
whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires;
who will not say they do it “because everybody else does it”;
who are true to their friends through good report and evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity;
who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success;
who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular;
who can say “no” with emphasis, although all the rest of the world says “yes.” (Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.107-8.)
We live in an ever changing world. It is a world that sometimes turns inward and not outward. People are afraid to stand up for what is right and just.
Becoming wealthy can be an obsession for people as character seems to get lost somewhere in the cracks. Ambitions abound. People understandably want to live as comfortably as they possibly can. But Jesus Christ, our Savior calls us to be more than that. He challenges us to be strong in character.
Jesus wants us to be the best we can be but to keep things in their proper perspective. Jesus reached out to people with kindness and love. He unconditionally accepted people for who they were, no matter where their life’s journey was taking them, and encouraged them to get beyond themselves. And we are called to do the same.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in our own personal needs. But we have to learn to get beyond that. We need to follow the example of Jesus and not be afraid to reach out in a spirit of love to those around us. That means taking risks. That means not being afraid to stand up for the truth even when it may be unpopular.
When we believe in Christ, our attitude about life will inevitably change. The world needs people who are willing to become a new creation in the love of Jesus.
Pastor Chris Hill, senior pastor
Evangelical United Church of Christ