We have talked about it in the past. It’s something that each one of us deal with to some extent. Privately, it’s almost easy to realize we have been prideful and seek forgiveness for it. But to do it publically, that’s a completely different situation.
“The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.” Proverbs 16:5.
My Dad passed away in 1986. In 1995, my Mom remarried. In some ways it’s hard to believe that she has been married to Tom for 20+ years. He is “Pawpaw Tom” to our children and we have grown to call him “Pop.” He has been the only grandfather my children have ever known on my side of the family.
If my math is correct, Pop will turn 84 this December. He and Mom have been active since they tied the knot. At some time or the other, they have been training bird dogs, trained a Grand Champion in Buddy. They ballroom danced, traveled with friends to many Auburn games (and Pop is a Bama fan on top of that!) and are active in the Masonic Lodge and Order of the Eastern Star. And they have always been active in church.
But last week, Pop did something that took me by surprise. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that it made me proud of him too.
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18.
He was baptized or as some call it RE-baptized. Honestly, I think you can only truly do it once but that’s not the important part. He had talked to his pastor and even though he had been baptized as a young boy felt he needed to get it in the right order.
I went through the same thing at the ripe old age of 25. It was tough then. Tough to acknowledge that I wasn’t who or what I should have been or had pretended to be. I can’t imagine what it must have been like as an 84 year old man. I told him that I was proud of him and hoped that it would have an impact on other men. Not only on men who haven’t made a decision for Christ but on men who think they have but have lived a life as if they had never heard of Christ. Even on men who think they have everyone fooled, everyone except God of course.
Typically, he didn’t want to make a fuss over it and wouldn’t have even known had my brother not told me. He only knew because he goes to church with them. He probably won’t be real happy if he finds out I wrote this, but he has to forgive me, doesn’t he?
Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.“John 10:25-29.
We should never doubt our salvation. I think Big Red uses that ploy to attack us and make us less effective for Christ. But deep down inside, in a place we think we can hide things that will never be seen, we know if we are truly His. So instead of owning up to it, we pretend and think we have everyone fooled. Or maybe we know that we have everything out of order. We got dunked in some water and then sometime later made a profession of faith in Christ.
When a man of any age, young or old, makes a public profession of Christ, it is an awesome thing. When we swallow our pride and realize that it is a life or death decision, we bring glory to God when we acknowledge our sin and guilt before others. May we live our lives in a way that would encourage men who need to make this decision, do so with no fear or shame.
Run to the Cross!