Have you heard what Target is up to these days? Have you heard the latest news?
Neither have I…NOR…DO…I…CARE…
Think Target and for some crazy reason people gravitate to the more expensive “discount” store. My mind works differently. I was never a big fan of the Far Side, but I remember grazing through one of those big books of Far Side while visiting someone’s house. One was “How Birds See the World” and it had a target on the top of everything, including a man’s head. The other was one Far Side character (I think it was a deer) saying to another who happened to have a target on its chest, “Bummer of a birth mark.” Those two struck me funny then, and I still chuckle now as I remember them.
THAT IS THE KIND OF TARGET I AM REFERRING TO.
Not a target for archery/shooting practice or competition. A different kind of target.
I have been reading, and am almost finished with The Measure of Our Success by Shawn Lovejoy. What a great book! Every pastor-every church leader-ought to read it. At 59 and almost 11 months I can honestly say I wish I had read this book years ago, like when I first started in ministry. It may have made a difference in how I saw myself and my ministry. Anyway, Shawn makes a great point when he quotes Bill Hybels:
Somewhere along the way, I conceded the point that the more influence you carry, the bigger target you wear. (p.120)
Whoa! Back the truck up! What an honest-to-goodness true statement. I don’t care if you are a pastor, a schoolteacher, a foreman at work, an influential athlete, a business owner, makes no difference. The truth of that statement still stands. Later Shawn goes on to include several other quotes that I want to link to this one:
You are not sent of God to court smiles but to win souls. Charles Spurgeon
“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” The Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:10 (NLT)
It is not uncommon in Christian circles to talk about influence and how people are watching us. True statement. Let’s face it, especially in this skeptical world we live in. we are under a microscope. To put it the way of the post: we do have a target on us. The moment we say, “I am a Christ-follower” we put a neon target on our chest. And people will use us for target practice. They will shoot their missiles, their arrows, their ammunition, and tragically after watching many of us, will be dead center. We are targets without a doubt. Let’s get serious about “lighting it up.”
What are your thoughts? Do you feel like you have a target on you? Does it affect the way you live?