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Dropping Out

I wouldn’t use his real name, of course, so let‘s call him Jack. I went to technical college with Jack. He was a likeable, hardworking young man, a bit on the quiet side. I don’t remember his standing in the class, but he seemed to be doing well enough.

During our two-year associate degree program, Jack married and became a father. Family life didn’t help Jack’s studies. His wife and new baby required some of his time. So did the job he worked to support them. As the final semester wore on, Jack’s load wore on him. He had a lot to deal with, and the fact that he knew of people making good money with less education didn’t make the grind any easier. Finally, within weeks of graduation, Jack had had enough. He dropped out.

The time for pomp and circumstances arrived shortly after Jack left. A rehearsal came before the actual graduation ceremony. We prospective graduates went over to the gym and found our assigned seats. Our caps and gowns--maybe even our diplomas--lay waiting in plain sight. I looked to be sure there was a package with my name on it. There was, but that fact wasn‘t so very reassuring--there was also a package for Jack.

There was a difference, of course. Jack wouldn’t be there. His cap would go back to wherever it came from. He wouldn’t walk across the platform. He wouldn’t receive an associate degree. The opportunities his months of study were to have earned him wouldn’t be his. Jack had quit.

Unfortunately, I’ve known people to quit when it came to even more important things. Again, it wouldn’t be appropriate to name names, but if you’ll think about it, you know such people yourself. They come close to God, then back off. They become very active in church, then sit back to warm the pew. Others commit to daily Bible reading, then give the time to the TV instead. A few set out to have pure minds for the Lord, then fall into internet pornography. Some become enthralled with worship, only to find a different enthusiasm that does more for their flesh. Some people drop clear out of church. Too many Christians set out to be holy and then drift into carnality. Others even leave a godly lifestyle for sin so deep that they can no longer give a convincing salvation testimony. From the Christian whose fellowship with the Lord isn’t the blessing it used to be to the spiritual shipwreck, dropouts lose the blessings God gives to those who walk closely with Him.

Christians argue over the question of whether a believer can fall clear away from Christ and be lost. But whatever your theology, you must admit that backing away from Jesus, no matter how appealing the alternatives, will necessarily lead to regrets. There is more to be had from the Christian life than any one of us is experiencing right now. God wants to do glorious things in each life, but as time drags on, people face hardship and the distraction of fleshly pleasures. How you handle these temptations is your decision, but will you still be with the program when God says it’s time for joy, peace, and power? Do you really know what you’ll be missing if you’re not?

This work is in the pubic domain and may be copied and distributed freely.


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