“Any port in a storm!”
From a strictly practical standpoint, that sailor quip makes sense. Yet, the port may have dangers of its own that were unexpected. If, for example, naval ships from opposing sides set anchor in the same bay due to a storm, once the storm abated, a different storm might begin.
Security is a multi-faceted need. We recognize our need for security in realms like jobs, health, food, protection. We have become so accustomed to increased safety that new “security” items are released into the market every year.
Security, though, is a double-edged sword, especially if you are not practicing wisdom and spiritual discernment. In certain places in the world, people place themselves under the protection of strong men and gangs. They know that the person or people they are being “protected” by are as bad, or worse, than others, but some protection is better than none.
People will place their security in the hands of politicians (this is pretty universal across the spectrum, except for anarchists and somewhat libertarians). Much of the political rancor that we are dealing with is how people feel most protected or safe. Even those saying we are protecting your freedom imply that they are protecting your freedom from “them”.
While this is relatively easy to point to in politics (though often not easy), it may well be a bigger issue in the church and within the faith context of Christianity.
Of course, there is the easy to identify, “all religions are equal,” safe port that provides zero respect to most religions, as most claim to have some sort of ultimate truth. That ultimate truth is usually not the same as other religions. Thus, all religions are not equal.
The slightly harder “safe ports” are religions dressed up in Jesus clothes, but have significantly different starting, middle, and ending points. The primary two are the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). At least, in the beginning, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were successful because they pulled at many people’s desires to be like others. The Mormons are often successful because they really help others in ways that we need to learn.
The harder safe ports are things like prosperity and the health & wealth “gospels” which attribute success in health and/or wealth to one’s faith (and usually one’s giving). This actually has echoes in the Jewish tradition, too (and teachings that Jesus opposed).
Those were all the easy ones. In reality, the hard ones are beyond the scope of this. They include righteous acts with cold hearts, loving words empty of loving acts, giving financially without giving of oneself, giving of oneself without giving financially (though this one is not so clear cut), calling oneself a Christian or Jesus Follower and not living (or even pursuing) a holy life.
- What “safe” things or ways of thinking have drawn you away from Jesus?
- What “safe” things or ways of thinking that were originally good changed to capture you, inhibiting your life with Christ?
- What are some of the safe things or thoughts that you currently have? Have you looked at them through the lens of Jesus Christ?
Lord, be the Lord of our heart and the keeper of our souls that we be safe from the trials, tribulations, and temptations of the world. Amen.