Guest Post By Jill Holler
Get Up, Child
“And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:11-12
I love verses like this that encourage me to keep pressing on. Although it is not known who wrote the book of Hebrews, there is a possibility that these words were written by Paul. He was great at spurring others on in their devotion and commitment to the Lord. Sometimes I wish Paul could be sitting right next to me, so I could hear him tell me out loud to keep persevering and fight the good fight. What an encouragement he would be.
However, if Paul really were sitting next to me, I’m afraid he might also tenderly tell me to stop being so “sluggish”– or “dull,” as stated in other translations. (Either way, both words seem equally bad!) I love the Lord; there is nothing dull about that. Nonetheless, as I read through Hebrews 6, I was confronted with the truth that sometimes when it comes to living out my faith, the words “sluggish” and “dull” just might apply to me. And as I was listening to Pastor James MacDonald of Walk in the Word preach on these verses, he used another similar term that I cringed at: “fickle.”
Being fickle isn’t something that people admire in others; no one looks at someone else who is fickle and says, “Gee, I wish I were more like that.” No, most people admire those who are strong and consistent in their character and actions, not those who are constantly shifting. So, frankly, facing the possibility that this term might apply to me was quite unpleasant. However, my mind confirmed its truth by taking me to James 1:6. I could picture myself as “a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind,” just tumbling about on top of the waves, letting the wind carry me where it wished. It kind of reminded me of how I let the circumstances of life do the same thing to how I live out my faith.
For example, I might come face to face with poverty in my own town and make a promise to myself to volunteer at the homeless shelter at Christmas; however, when Christmas comes around, I am too busy baking pies and wrapping countless presents for my children to follow through with my plan. There is just not enough time, nor is there enough money (because I spent it all on the kids!).There have been other times when I have vowed to stop spending money on clothes in order to give more to others, yet when I enter a store, I find every excuse imaginable to justify buying some new jeans. Or I will make a plan to send out my testimony to everyone on my Christmas card list, but when the time comes, I am too worried about what my non-Christian friends will think of me, and I never take action.
Recognizing things like that about myself can be quite depressing; it’s not always fun to get totally honest. But it can be motivating. It drives me to start living out my faith with greater consistency. And even though I have feelings of disappointment in myself, God isn’t up in heaven putting check marks on a chart labeled, “How She’s Disappointed Me This Year.” I do that myself. Instead, God is saying, Get up child, and “run with endurance the race [I] have set before [you]” (Hebrews 12:1).
Written By Jill Holler