HEARTLIGHTSingle... Not Alone







Singular Excellence
by Cary Branscum

    Other than Jesus himself, who was the most prominent single Christian of all time?

    Interesting question isn’t it! Many folks think about Christianity as a “couples thing.” But singles have always played a very vital role in Christianity.

    Now back to our question. You could name quite a few prominent Christian singles, both men and women. You can even look at our own century and see the difference made in our world by Christian singles. Yet, no single Christian has had the impact of the Apostle Paul. From a life of persecuting the church to his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9); Paul lived an extraordinary life. There is much about his life that other single Christians can both understand and emulate.

• Paul was open about his struggles.
Read Romans chapter 7. We almost feel embarrassed by Paul’s open and honest sharing of his struggles with good and evil. If Paul could do this publicly, then don’t you think Christian singles could (should?) do it privately with a trusted Christian confidant? Do we have someone we care about enough to share what is REALLY going on in our hearts and minds?
• Paul made a lot of mistakes.
He admitted his mistakes, sins and problems (MSP’s). But he didn’t dwell on them. He carried on with his life in Christ. We all make mistakes, commit sins, and get ourselves into problems. Unfortunately, from our childhood we attempt to hide these from others. Paul knew it is best to face, own, and admit his MSP’s, and then let God still use him. In fact, Paul knew his MSP’s even showed the power of God in his life as he overcame them and was used mightily by God! God’s Power overcomes our MSP’s.
• Paul had a Mission, a vision, a direction for his life.
Look at Galatians 2:20; that’s a Mission. Single folks need a mission, a vision, a direction for their lives! Listen to this statement, it’s simple, and yet it is extremely profound...”If you don’t have a mission in your life, then your life will be about your problems.”...Read that again, and again, until it sinks in. You see, if you awaken each morning to something that grabs your life and your heart, you can face your problems! If you awaken and have no reason to get out of bed, then you focus on your problems.

Don’t let the world squeeze you into it’s mold.
    Let me tell you a quick story to illustrate what I mean. Every year I tag along with our college age ski trip. Skiing is lots of fun, and I don’t get to go as often as I’d like. I’m 47 years old, and some of my friends wonder why I go. The answer is, because I still CAN! I ski with these folks all day, everyday. I keep up with most of them. My mission is to ski, enjoy myself, and build some personal relationships with these folks. They see me skiing. What they don’t see are the Ace bandages and wraps on my knees and ankles. They don’t see me creak off to the hot tub while they eat dinner. They don’t see me rub DeepHeat ointment on my legs. That’s fine. You see, my Mission overrides my creaks! Your mission overrides your problems.

    Consider all the problems Paul faced. He was arrested, shipwrecked, beaten, rejected, and he went through it all. How did he do it? He said “I am crucified with Christ, never the less, I live. Yet it is not I, but Christ, who lives in me. And the life that I know live in this body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved, and gave himself for me..” Paul knew being a Christian is the absolute best way to live. His mission overrode his creaks!

    Be open about your life, admit your MSP’s; and have a Mission for your life. Paul has been the most prominent single Christian so far. But the future belongs to you. Maybe YOU could someday be remembered as a prominent Christian single who brought glory to God. Prominent or not, be the person God has called you to be!


HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996-98, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
Article copyright © 1998, Cary Branscum. Used by permission.
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