Not long ago, I watched a video from a military organization that brought up the concept of Stand and Be Counted.
The example shown was a soldier witnessing a violation of conduct by a fellow soldier. He had a few choices with how to proceed:
1) Pretend it didn’t happen and say nothing.
2) Slip a note under a door of a superior informing of the violation, but keeping his identity anonymous.
3) Speak to his superior himself, putting himself at odds with his peer.
The 3rd choice was indicated as the appropriate choice. This I needed to process a bit…
It is so easy to go with option 2. Violation is addressed but no damage taken to oneself. The invisible hero. Your still the good guy.
Which got me thinking how it is a complete lack of courage. How much does a person actually believe in a principle if they are not willing to risk themselves. Doing the right thing, but not wanting to own the consequences of it.
This concept can apply to different areas in life. I don’t have some crazy accurate analogy and what I say is kinda a stretch. But it did get my brain going spiritually.
So often, when a person talks to me about suffering somehow, I’ll go with something similar to slipping a note under the door. I’ll pray for someone, but I am not willing to put myself in harms way by saying I’ll pray for them. I use the typical excuses to protect myself:
I am not a good enough example yet to tell others about God.
I don’t know my bible well enough to talk about it.
People are going ask me questions I can’t answer.
I’m gonna look stupid.
I am not advocating that anyone should be bible beating anyone. It can be a pretty self-righteous of act when a person delivers Christ’s perfect righteousness as their own. Every person is a human being just like me. They deserve respect. I am no better because, but for the grace of God, we are all faithless.
On the flip side, I can’t go and sit in holding pattern till Jesus lands either. That’s not what’s modelled in the New Testament. Christianity is an extroverted faith at its core.
Stand and Be Counted does not shuffle the responsibility to “better” Christians. It does mean you can confidently identify yourself as a follower of Christ, all your junk included. Your junk is the very reason for needing a Savior, so pretending fools no one. Maybe a person can relate to that.
Stand and Be Counted does not mean leave the talking from the bible to the professionals. You may be the only person of faith someone knows. Build your own faith through study and memorization of the word. Truth is found in simplicity of the faith. And with so many things, complexity breeds error. Any person can chunk the gospel down into a life giving message that another could understand.
Finally, Stand and Be Counted doesn’t mean a life lived with Closet Christian Syndrome. Prayer in your room is essential. It’s how God works in humans. But loving other humans, regardless of social issue differences, should be at the heart of Christianity.
A few words we need to be willing to say are:
You know dude, when SHTF in my life, I pray to God. I’m gonna pray for you.
That’s what Stand And Be Counted means. You are a Christian because of your failures, not in spite of them. So skip the doubt and stand with someone. Have the courage to say that you’ll pray for someone because you need the same gift of grace yourself. To me, those are the kinda words worthy to be Stand and Be Counted for.