Recently a firefighter in our church was told by one of his colleagues that belief in Jesus was for weak people. I found that ironic coming from a firefighter.
I have a fire hydrant in our side yard. I have never looked at the fire hydrant and felt any shame. I drive by a firehouse every day. I never think, “If this community didn’t have weak people than we would never need firehouses.” Every month when I pay my property taxes, which go towards financing fire departments, I never get angry at myself, thinking, “if I could just handle fire myself I wouldn’t have to write this check.”
Imagine a person whose house is on fire. The fire is raging out of control and the fire truck pulls up, sirens blaring. The person runs out of his house in a rage and says, “How dare you come to my house and think that I can’t handle this fire myself! Firefighters are for weak people, not for me.”
What would you think of someone like that? Insane.
We know that fire departments are for “weak” people because a power exists that we simply can’t deal with on our own: fire. Actually, we admire firefighters because they are people who have committed themselves to take on the power of fire at personal expense.
Christians are weak in the same sense that a community is “weak” for having fire departments. They are people who acknowledge that a power exists that they can’t confront and live — the holiness of God. This, however, is not cause for shame, because there was one man who dealt with that power at personal expense, on a cross. And, as every firefighter can admit, when someone is rescued from the flames, they’re not thinking about their weakness; they’re overjoyed that someone would risk it all to save them.