“They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:12
I just read about a college football game where it would have been impossible to do the wave. A game between the Washington State Cougars and the San Jose Spartans in Pullman, Washington is one from the record books. On November 12, 1955 the football stadium was occupied by one fan. Yes, you are reading it correctly. Not one hundred thousand, not one thousand, not one hundred. Just one lonely football fan! It seems that a bitter snowstorm made the faithful stay away in droves, leaving a single fan to root for his team.
This story reminded me that life is full of instances where you have to stand alone. And it is seldom easy. For instance, just last night my wife attended a Congregational Business Meeting. The moderator of the meeting was seated with the rest of the congregation and said, “I will stand and open the meeting with prayer.” My wife thought he said, “Let’s stand and open the meeting with prayer.” So she did. She stood to her feet and quickly noticed that all eyes in the room were fixed on her wondering what she was doing standing there. It was an uncomfortable experience for everybody. Not really, everybody but my wife thought it was hilarious.
Despite the inconvenience and anxiety that standing alone causes, the Bible indicates that those who stand up for what is right will receive God’s approval and help. It wasn’t easy for Shadrach and his two buddies to stand when everybody around them was bowing down to an idol. But they were wonderfully protected by the Lord. Most of us will never face a fiery furnace for taking a stand, but there are consequences. Refusing to participate in fraudulent practices at work may cost you a job. Espousing God’s disapproval over gay marriage might raise the ire of your Facebook friends. Sharing the Gospel might anger fellow neighbors. Standing alone and standing out is tough, but it might be the only way to show others that you aren’t afraid of standing up for God.
Are you “outstanding” for Jesus Christ?