I Admit it, I’m an Alien

Spending most of our time with fellow Christ-followers can cause us to approach our lives as though we live in a bubble. One indicator is when our conversation centers on how shocked we are at the condition of the world and the depravity of the people around us. Christians are aghast that non-straight people want to get married.  We are stunned that some choose to end the life of a child while it is still in it’s mother’s womb. We are incredulous that everyone doesn’t agree with our political stance.

We have to stop expecting those who do not follow Christ to behave as though they do. Make no mistake: We are a minority and the majority is not impressed with our morals. They will continue to do as they do – regardless of how shocked we are or how much we complain about it.

Remember, we don’t belong here. I go back to 80’s Christian rock band, Petra, when they sang, “Not of This World”.  We are not at home here; we are citizens of another place. We are aliens. Not of the outer space variety but of the heavenly kingdom variety. Philippians 3:20 reminds us, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (NIV)  No wonder we don’t feel at home – we are not at home.

While we must share the Good News of Christ, we will never change our unChristian culture into a Christian culture. The quickest we can expect things to get perfect is the moment we make it home.

So behave yourself as a short-term visitor – an alien. That’s what I am, I admit it.

Lessons from Lance Armstrong

As a cyclist, I am sickened by the demise of Lance Armstrong. His fall from grace in the biking world is being felt by everyone, not only cycling enthusiasts. This is probably a combination of things: his dominance in the sport; his household-name status; the millions he raised to fight cancer through his Livestrong Foundation.

While I am sad to see all of his failure, I think it would be wise for us to learn lessons from his life.

Lesson like:

Cheaters don’t win. Really, they don’t.

Short-term gain equals long-term pain.

Some things are more valuable than winning. Self-respect and integrity are invaluable.

Yellow jerseys won by cheating are an embarrassment.

“Be sure that your sins will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23)

I have compassion on Mr. Armstrong. While I think he will never redeem his reputation, he can regain his self-respect. I pray that happens.

I am convinced that most, if not all, of Armstrong’s competitors were also doping. There were so many who were busted in that era. Makes me wonder if he would have been as dominant, if none of them had cheated. Somehow, I think probably so. Now no one knows or cares. Rather sad, isn’t it? Let it never be said of us that we are such moral failures, that no one cares.

Living strong is more than words.