A little bit of the discussion stemming from Friday’s post, Beware The Shadows, has led me to consider anew how Truth, especially as it applies to God’s vision for his people, is costly. Christianity is risky. Discipleship is costly. Being a follower of Jesus is daring and dangerous. And a good many of us don’t have the stomach for it. Seeking that truth and living it out always comes with a price.
I’m reminded of another Lynn Anderson line in his book Freshness for the Far Journey: “Each of us is as free as all truth-seekers have been from Jeremiah to Sagdluk, provided we, like they, value truth highly enough to maintain the payments.”
Jesus said, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will…” (John 7:17) It’s always a choice. And sometimes it can be a very painful choice. Jesus also said, “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44) Making that unpopular choice every single day is essential to Christian ministry. It’s paramount to our faith to tread that less-traveled road.
More from Anderson: “Those who most freely pursue God’s truth do so in spite of the fact that the environment does not encourage them. To be able to stand before His smiling countenance means far more to them than their security or their forum or the affirmation of their fellows.”
To apply this thought more directly to preachers and teachers and elders in God’s Church, I’ll pull an illustration from another portion of this same book: “Part of the reason Mozart ended up in a pauper’s grave was, according to legend, because he said, ‘I will not write what they want to buy. I will write what I hear.’ Such was Mozart’s artistic integrity. Question: Can any preacher of the Word do less? Dare we neglect ‘what we hear’ to live and preach only what ‘they will buy’?
Some of the discussion from another recent post made me dig this up again. Enjoy.