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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wannabes

There was an interesting article that I came across this morning. Entitled "SEALS expose those who have faked service," the article talked about the number of people in our country who try to pass themselves off as former members of the elite team that carries out America's most dangerous military missions. It seems that true Navy SEAL veterans have their hands full trying to debunk the myths created by these "wannabes." One vet says he gets upwards of 4o inquiries a day from people wanting to verify the stories of their family members, co-workers, friends and--believe it or not--pastors. That number is only expected to rise after the fame that has risen from their latest mission--the capture/slaying of Osama bin Laden, international terrorist.

It seems that many Americans--men and women--want to be associated with the famous group. I can't imagine many of them would stick to their story if they were forced to go through even one day of what it takes to make the team. Brutal workouts. Days without sleeping or eating. Dangerous missions behind enemy lines. Discipline that would humble many professional athletes.

It got me thinking about a more relevant question for all of us. Do we treat Jesus the same way? Let's face it, you don't get more famous than Jesus. The name is known in almost every nation on the face of the earth. Today, he has over 2 billion people who call themselves "team members." But do they really know what it takes to follow this Man? Confronted with the reality of what it means to be a true Christ follower, I believe most would shrink away, unable to meet the "demands". The irony, though, is that all Christ demands of us is surrender. That's right. Give up, give in and give Him control. What a humbling thought to know that God's free gift scares us, intimidates us from following through on our claims to know Him.

One SEAL vet from the article said, "There were about 500 SEALs who operated in Vietnam and I've met all 20,000 of them." My prayer is that when we claim the name of Christ, we understand, first, what it really means to be "in Christ." The world wants to know the hope of those who follow the man from Nazareth. But they won't find it in those who brag about a relationship that they have no intention of living out.

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