He is still. Even stiff, in his smart red and white painted uniform. Chest puffed out, arms held perfectly at his sides in rapt attention, he stands. There are many, just like him. Rank after rank, they line the shelves. If they could move, they would march to the beat of a silent drum…many legs and arms moving in unison. But they cannot. They are tin soldiers. They are not made to move.
How many times have you heard the analogy of a Christian being ‘a light of the world’ or ‘a city on a hill’ ? It comes from Scripture, right?
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid…let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
We grow up singing songs like “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. . .” And we do. We shine. . .happy little polished tin Christians with happy little smiles on our painted faces, and happy little Bible verses on our t-shirts, and happy little songs on our radios. We pat ourselves on the back at how bright we think we’re shining, in a world that is so dark – but we never move.
[ “We’ve become tin soldiers.” ]
Honestly. How many times have you excused yourself from sharing the gospel? How many times have you checked ‘witnessing’ off your mental checklist because you smiled at somebody? Smiled? Come on. What kind of apathetic two-bit Christianity is that?
Since when does being a ‘city on a hill’ give us the excuse to be a tin soldier, standing in our lines of fellow Christians – not doing anything? Since when does ‘shining our light’ mean that we cease to share that light?
We’re not supposed to be something that induces people to look at us with the ‘oooh, shiny’ reaction. We’re supposed to be real soldiers – fighting tooth and nail in the midst of a real battle going on all around us for the souls of real people.
[ “How many times have you checked ‘witnessing’ off your mental checklist because you smiled at somebody?” ]
I think somewhere along the line, we misinterpreted something. We’ve taken attributes of Christianity – like kindness and joy – and used those as our alternative to actual witnessing; somehow rationalizing that being nice is the new ‘Jesus died for you.’ And we’re twisting Scripture to fit. Now, instead of telling people about Jesus and being happy at the same time, we’ve settled for just being happy. . .and we hope that they’ll ask why. Well, to put it bluntly, smiling at people isn’t getting them to heaven.
We’ve become tin soldiers. And to what end? Are we seeing results? Real results? Maybe you’ve had a few people ask about your good attitude – great. I’m proud of you. But I’d be even prouder if you actually shared the gospel with them.
I hope you all know that I wrote this for myself. Every thing I just wrote about, I’ve done. Excuses? I don’t have one any more. And neither do you.
I don’t want to be a tin soldier.
You cannot read this book and stay the same. Kelly Minter is an acclaimed author, musician, Bible study creator and teacher. She was snug in her life serving the Lord and then the door opened for her to go to the Amazon. Sleeping in a hammock on a boat, eating foods that she thought she would never eat, and finding great beauty and joy in the people. She said the first year she went, she saw the beauty of the land. The second year she saw the people and the third year she saw God.
Hear the stories of these jungle pastors and the miracles that come about because of their prayers. She shares their stories in little vignettes that will forever change how you look at what you live and what you do.
Her life was knit together with the others involved in the ministry, but also with the people of the Amazon, who lived in total poverty. She went to minister to them, but it changed her.
This is a beautiful story of what God can do with your life if you are open to allowing Him to change you. Here is a trailer about her journey.
One of you will get a chance to win a copy of this book. I strongly encourage each of you to get a copy and read it. To enter, leave a comment below and tell me what is one way that God is using you to reach out to someone around you.
The contest will be open until midnight on the 22nd of August, 2014!!