draw a line

Too many of us are not willing to take a stand on issues. We keep our observations and opinions to ourselves. We like to keep our options open and not commit to anything. We are unwilling to draw a line in the sand and boldly assert— HERE I STAND!

Why? What if we are wrong? What if our bold assertion must be withdrawn with a humble act of contrition— an apology; an admission that we did not get it right, that we failed!?!

The issue should be simply obvious. We have attached our self-esteem, our worth, our public “image” to our achievements. If we in some way must admit that we were wrong, we feel like we will be less of a person, or at least viewed that way by others. So it is the more cautious course to NOT take a stand, to NOT commit, to NOT reveal our beliefs or opinions about popular or critical issues. In a sense we decide to stand above the fray, aloof, outside of the ebb & flow of life, merely observing. True, it is safer. But is it life?

Lest we become a generation that will be remembered for its fear of definers, of commitments, of being mere observers of life, reflect on this query posed in the ancient writings of King David. The King proffers a primal question—

Lord, who may rest with you in your secure palace?

Who may reside with you on your holy mountain?

Part of his answer is— He who swears allegiance, even to his own hurt, and does now waver. Quite simply, he draws a line in the sand and stands firm, even if it brings harm to himself. Yes, capitulation, giving in, compromise, would be so much easier. But it is not in the character of someone who desires to stand in the presence of God…, and live for long.

Let your yes be YES: let your no be NO. Declare clearly and emphatically where you stand on issues, but always with sincere graciousness, congeniality, and resolve. You may be proven wrong later on. In that case, apologize with sincere graciousness, congeniality, and resolve to make it right. (Suggestion- A peace offering of tea or chocolate might also be acceptable.)

If a King offers advice to stand firm in the presence of God, may it be worth considering that drawing a line in the sand and insisting HERE I STAND with our fellow man might also be a wise social/professional posture? [Suggestion- Find a beach, a sand dune. Practice.]

[The rest of King David’s advice can be found in Psalm 15.]

Have a nice week,

Gary

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One thought on “draw a line

  1. Gary, good points. I try to study and know what is worth standing for.. Deciding when to draw a line is difficult for most people, we give up so much ground.

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