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Ditching the Uniform
by Tom Goodman
January 30, 2008

A young man was taking his final exam at the police academy when he reached the following question:

You are on patrol downtown when an explosion occurs in a gas main in a nearby street.  On investigation you find that a large hole has been blown in the sidewalk and there is an overturned van lying nearby.  Inside the van there is a strong smell of alcohol.  Both occupants -- a man and a woman -- are injured.  You recognize the woman as the wife of the Chief of Police, who is away at a conference.  A driver stops to offer you assistance, and you realize that he is a man who is wanted for armed robbery.  Suddenly a man runs out of a nearby house, shouting that his wife is expecting a baby and that the shock of the explosion has made her go into labor.  Another man is crying for help, having been blown into an adjacent canal by the explosion, and he cannot swim.  Describe in a few words what actions you would take.

The police candidate thought for a moment, picked up his pen, and wrote:  "I would take off my uniform and mingle with the crowd."

Believers can identify with that police officer's temptation!  Jesus called on us to make a difference in our world, but anyone who has taken his call seriously has discovered just how hard it is.  It's not easy to stick to our commitment to that volunteer position at church.  It's heartbreaking to invest ourselves in a recovery ministry only to see people return to their old destructive habits.  It's hard to stand for Christ among peers who belittle the Christian viewpoint.  Overwhelmed by it all, sometimes we want to just take off our uniform and mingle with the crowd.

I think that's why Christ had so much to say in Matthew 10 about enduring hardship as we fulfill his mission.  At Hillcrest, we've been in a study series through that chapter.  You can listen to the first two lessons here.  Through the first fifteen verses of the chapter, we've been inspired by his call to make a difference in our world, and we've been motivated by his practical directions for making a difference.  But most of Matthew 10 contains warnings about the hardship and opposition we will face as we set out to make a difference around us.

If you've felt the temptation to shirk your responsibility in Christ's world-changing mission, join us this week for this important study!  We meet at 9:30am and 10:45am.

(The story of the police candidate was adapted from Questions of Life by Nicky Gumbel, page 234.)

Drop By the Blog, Leave a Comment.  At my weblog, "Get Anchored," every Sunday I post a new "Song of the Week." (This week my sons Michael and Stephen are featured in a little instrumental jam session.)  Also, every Tuesday I post some entertaining and informative "Links to Your World."   You might also want to check out a senior adult choir singing Coldplay's "Fix You," how to handle criticism as a leader, a quick take on Chuck Colson's new book, and why believers must evangelize.

At Our Website.  Learn about where we stand with our International Missions offering, a night out with the family, "Hillcrest Night" at the Austin Toros, activities for young couples, an upcoming Open House at Maggie's House, and other important events.

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