Growing up was fun, but hard at times. I can’t tell you how many times I would come running in the house crying because I was cut, banged up, or bruised. I guess it is just a part of growing up. We lived in Dallas, was 12 years old and football was ‘in the air’. We had a neighborhood gang of kids (that’s back when being a part of a gang wasn’t bad) and we’d all gather at the school yard and play flag football. Flag football was looked down on because we wanted to do the real thing. We used the flags anyway because our parents wouldn’t allow the rough style of football. Then it happened… I was tackled, went down hard on my shoulder, and was hurt. I can’t figure what got pulled but the next day my shoulder was red, black and blue (almost patriotic). Of course mom forbid football for a while.
When I went back to school and showed off my bruise during PE (Physical Education), I found I was like a celebrity. Everyone wanted to see the bruise. It was my ‘badge’. “This is kinda worth the pain”, but I was a kid then.
Christianity is not a game, although there is some growing up to do, and Christians get ‘banged up’ in the process. It’s not easy, because the main battle is with yourself. Jesus says, “count the cost” Luke 14:25-33. Bottom line is that when a person becomes a Christian, He wants to be #1 in life. Is it worth the pain to be a Christian? Go figure. Jesus suffered and died… was it worth it? Salvation is priceless. Nothing takes the place of forgiveness for the sinful heart. Nothing feels better than guilt being lifted at Calvary.
Is ‘the way’ of the Christian hard? Is it worth it? Peter said in 1 Peter 3:14-17 “But in fact , if you happen to suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. But do not be terrified of them or be shaken. 15 But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.
The Christian’s badge is not how often he attends church, or how much he gives, but how far he goes, in spite of the difficulties. Finish the ‘race’. You don’t have to be first… just finish, (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
HAST THOU NO SCAR?
Hast thou no scar? On foot or side or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land.
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star –
Hast thou no scar?
Hast thou no wound? Yet I was wounded by the archers spent –
Leaned me against a tree to die and rent,
Like raven beast – they compassed me. I swooned –
Hast thou no wound?
No wound, no scar? Yet as the Master shall the servants be.
And pierced are the feet that follow Me. But thine are whole!
Could he have followed very far,
who hast no wound, no ugly scar?