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Is Jesus a Crutch for the Weak?

By Watchman | July 3, 2009

     “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.”  (Psalm 18:2-3)

     I’m sure there isn’t one of us who hasn’t at one time or another heard Christianity referred to as a crutch for the weak.  Most Christians vehemently deny this, because there is an undoubted sense of scorn and derision in the accusation which most of us can’t bear to have attributed to our Lord (or, indeed, to ourselves!).  So, is Jesus a crutch?  My answer may surprise you, because the short answer is “Yes! of course He is!” 

     2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us that His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  In chapter 3 of Colossians, Paul tells us to set our affections on things above and not on the things here on earth.  Looked at from the world’s perspective (“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness”–1Corinthians 1:18), these verses do little more than encourage us to look to another life that won’t be so difficult and to accept what happens calmly, believing that we’ll be justified in another life.  However, like all Scripture, these verses have to be read in context with the rest of God’s word:  line upon line and precept upon precept.  Jesus is no doubt my strength in times of trouble.  If that constitutes “being a crutch” (and it probably does) then yes, I sometimes use my Savior as a crutch!  We sometimes sing in church:

Leaning, leaning; safe and secure from all alarms

Leaning, leaning; leaning on the everlasting arms!”

Yep.  That’s a crutch all right!  And thank You, Jesus, for being there to catch me rather than let me fall!  Thank You for being the lifter of my head!

     Any of you who have ever broken or sprained an ankle and been on crutches for a while  know that you don’t always depend on your crutches to move–you depend, however, on them being there if you need them.  My spirit may sometimes not need the Lord uplifting me at every moment, but I know He’ll always be there when I call upon Him.  He is my strength and my song, and I depend on His presence as I depend on food to keep me from starving and water to keep me from dying of thirst. 

     The misconception inherent in the sarcastic referral to Jesus as a crutch on which we depend is the notion that following Jesus is always easy and somehow involves a simplistic view of the world that the non-believer is too lofty to have.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Most non-believers do not worry about bitterness and anger taking over their lives because they do not answer to our God who forbids unrighteous anger.  Have you considered how difficult it is for all of us to refrain from returning evil for evil?  To keep that bitterness from gaining a foothold in our hearts?  The casting off of the “old man” when we are born again commits us to a radical change not only in our behavior but in our patterns of thought.  We are able to effect these changes not through our own power but through God’s.  “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)  Do I have to lean on Him to help me do those things I could not do when not living in His love?  You bet.  My sin nature will not allow me to eschew sin on my own impetus.  Even if I were to stop engaging in sinful behavior; my motives, my desires and my thought processes would remain out of alignment and therefore still sinfully inclined.  Only with the help of our Lord can we begin to live our lives with right motives and a true love for our fellow man.    But even with the Lord’s guiding hand and loving chastisement, following the commandments of the Lord requires  unending self-discipline and a clear understanding of Scriptural precepts.  We do not, contrary to what the world believes, accept evil because we expect better in the next world.  No matter how unpopular  or how politically incorrect the notion is, we are not to accept evil at all.  We speak up regardless alike of  the praise or the censure of the world.  Were Christianity to become a crime we would have to be prepared for imprisonment or death.  We would lean on our God–not expecting Him to necessarily rescue us from persecution, but knowing that He would be beside us every step of the way and uphold us through the storm: even if that storm leads to our deaths.  May He be glorified in me, whether it be through my life or my death, as I lean upon His strength and His love.

Maranatha!

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