Hello! Wow, already time for another blog article. Every time these come around I’m surprised how fast time flies. Today you might be a little surprised, or at least curious about today’s title. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to persuade you to be a lifeguard. But what’s with the title? Read on and you’ll soon see.
Prevention/Flee from Temptation and Sin
A couple of months ago, I became a certified lifeguard. I learned how to rescue and revive people, but I also learned that a majority of the job is prevention. Lifeguards do more than just rescue people, they make sure that the facilities are safe and stop dangerous activities before they escalate to emergencies.
Likewise, Christians should try to prevent situations, thoughts, and actions from turning into sin or worse. Some sin is preventable. The types of situations we allow ourselves to be in, what friends we surround ourselves with, and what thoughts and images we entertain are examples of what are generally under our control. We do have to make choices that can lead us away from sin, or bring us closer to it.
The Bible has talked about what company we keep, and how a wise or foolish person acts. It’s also told us what we can do to focus on what is good instead of what is sinful. We shouldn’t solely react to situations and hope we do the right thing. Although we are prone to sin, we can still take preventative action.
Victim Recognition/Recognize sin
Lifeguards learn to recognize victims. A drowning victim isn’t always obvious. Sometimes a drowning is quick and silent. As Christians, we need to pay attention to subtle signs in our own lives that signal a turn towards a sinful habit, or decrease in spiritual fruit because of sin. We shouldn’t be paranoid, but we also shouldn’t expect to be immune to the pull of sin.
Being aware of our spiritual situation and our relationship with God is something we should all be monitoring. When we recognize a sign of something, we need to examine ourselves and determine if there’s a problem. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to ask God to search our hearts, just as David did in the Psalms. It’s healthy to do a heart check, to determine how we’re doing.
Lifeguard surveillance/Be Alert
Lifeguards are alert. Well, they should be anyways. Christians need to be spiritually alert. We need to be aware of what’s going on around us. The Bible warns that we need to be alert. The enemy is out there and will take any opportunity of getting a foothold if we allow him. When we let ourselves become too complacent and idle, we are leaving ourselves vulnerable. When we let our relationship with God deteriorate, when we stop getting into the Word, and when we make Him less of a priority, our alertness deteriorates and the victory becomes all the more easy for the enemy. So, be on alert, my friend.
Before I close, don’t forget that you’re not in this alone. In lifeguarding, a lifeguard usually has a team that helps each other. Similarly, Christians should have friends who are there to help them in times of need. Although we should try to recognize our own drift from God, sometimes we become blind and need the rebuke of a friend to get us back on track. Find or identify someone you know and trust to tell you when you’re wrong. We all need accountability, and good friends are the ones that will tell you when you’re going off the path.
So maybe you’ve got this all in the bag. You can check each one of these off and relax, or maybe you’re like me and you could use some improvement in all of the these categories. Either way, we all should seek to be alert (1 Peter 5:8), recognize our sin (Proverbs 28:16), and prevent the preventable by avoiding temptation and sin (1 Timothy 6:9, Proverbs 4:14-15). This might sound like a bit of work, and it is. Serving Christ was never supposed to be easy. But it’s certainly worth it.
See how being a Christian is kind of like being a lifeguard? I hadn’t really thought of it in this way until recently. It may sound odd, but I think it might be good imagery to keep those practices in mind. Until next week I guess. Thanks for stopping by!
So, what do you think? Do you think the duties of a lifeguard and the being a Christian share some similarities? Do you agree/disagree? Why? Have you been alert? Do you have people to keep you accountable? As always, I’d love to hear what your thoughts are. Comment below or shoot me an email!