Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Alone in my Principles

"Oh, there he goes off to his room to write that hit song, 'Alone in my Principles.'"
I can't help but crack up every time Lenny says that line in my all time favorite movie, That Thing You Do. Despite the fact that I've watched the movie upwards of fifty times, that short one-liner never fails to hit my funny bone. It's comical relief is due in part to the impeccable timing and perfect vocal inflection - the hallmark of all humorous one-liners. Lenny, Steve Zahn in real life, has the technique down to a science.
It's been quite some time since I've watched That Thing You Do but I can hear that line in my head as if it were just replayed on my TV a moment ago. I can see Jimmy storming out of the hotel restaurant, presumably up to his room where a new hit single is about to be born. As I watch the scene play out in my mind I am struck not by the comedy or humor of the events taking place but the honesty of the principle. "Alone in my Principles." It isn't necessarily the catchiest of song titles, but it is often reality for anyone who holds firm in their beliefs. The person that won't renounce their convictions or compromise their standards often finds themselves very much alone.
Alone isn't one of those words that conjures up warm and fuzzy feelings. Unless, that is, you are a Mom of five who is getting "alone time" on a Saturday afternoon at the spa. But take that same Mom and turn her "alone time" into a stand for moral principles and Biblical truth. That kind of "alone" doesn't sound like a relaxing day at the spa.
Being alone in our stance for Christ should never surprises us. The day we signed up to be a soldier in the Lord's army, proclaiming Christ and committing our lives to His service, we signed on to a life of standing alone. The ways of the world are not in line with the principles and teachings of the Bible. The world rejected Jesus to the point of nailing Him to a cross. He stood very, very alone. He stood so alone in His principles that He died for the sins of the world at the hands of a mocking crowd. It simply doesn't get any more alone than that.
Before Jesus was crucified He told His disciples and anyone else who would chose to follow Him, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." (John 15:18). Although in this world we will often find ourselves standing alone we are never truly alone. When we stand apart for Christ we stand with Christ. We have company in our principles and a faithful friend to support us when the world abandons us. We can stand firm knowing that our feet are planted in the unfailing, everlasting truth of God. Standing alone in the world is actually standing right with Christ.
This world and all of its sin and corruption will one day pass away but the Word of the Lord will last forever. Even on days when it feels like you are utterly alone, remember that Jesus is with you. The stance you are taking for truth today will undoubtedly separate you from the wayward world we live in but it will, at the same time, unite you with the eternal Kingdom to come. We are living not for the fleeting pleasures of this world or the sinful ways of wayward living but the glory of Heaven that will never pass away.
Dear Reader, don't be ashamed or afraid to stand alone in your principles. Go off into your bedroom and write a song about it if that helps to calm your anxiety and strengthen your spirit. Go to the Good Lord's Book and find encouragement for the narrow, deserted path you are walking. Cry out to the Lord who has all the power in His hand to carry you through the droughts of lonely days and solitary seasons. In Christ alone you will find that you are never actually alone. The world around you may cause you to feel like an outcast or, worse yet, it might press up against you with hostility and enmity. As you stand alone hold fast to the principles of the Bible, the salvation of Jesus Christ and the eternal glory of the Almighty God.

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