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The Crutch

Man on crutches on a gray background. Studio shot

Recently I overhead someone say, “So many of these ‘Born-Again’ types just need Christianity as a crutch.” I have heard this many times, and said it myself more than once, back before I realized how badly I needed a crutch.

So let’s explore this idea of a crutch today. Take for example someone who is blind and lame. They have been struggling for years trying to get around: hobbling, tripping, falling down, bruising and scraping their face and skin repeatedly. They bump into obstacles constantly, and many times have taken the wrong way home.

They cannot possibly see the best way, and if even they could, they cannot follow this best way with any consistency. Problems and pain are a constant result of their blind, lame condition. Problems and pain for themselves, as well as for those around them.

Now, let me pause and say this: This describes me perfectly, before I met Jesus. And quite frankly even for years after—when I still could not see with any true clarity, and I was still stumbling around with residual lameness.

Does this describe you?

Yes, that was me! I may have appeared to have it all together, and to be smart and athletic and all that. But in reality I was a blind, lame sinner. I was so blind and so lame I didn’t even know it. So I looked down on those who had found Jesus, and condescendingly thought of them as weak for needing a crutch.

Now imagine someone comes along and offers this blind, lame person a crutch. We all know this crutch will stabilize their balance and enable them to move through life with a newfound purpose, and help them to avoid so many problems and pains.

What must a person be like to turn down this offer of this crutch? I can think of two words: stupid and prideful. Of course, pride-filled people are inherently stupid. As was I.

What perhaps might such a person say in response to the offer of a crutch?

“Oh, I don’t need a crutch! Crutches are for those pathetic losers. I am fine and dandy just like I am. Actually, better than just fine and dandy, just like I am. I don’t need a crutch.”

Stupid.

Or, perhaps, “Are you kidding? Me, accept a crutch? Why I’d sooner limp around my whole life than be seen as someone who needed that kind of help.”

Prideful.

Now please hear this: Following Jesus is so much more than a crutch; it is the only choice to make in life. He is it—there is nothing else. The crutch is there at the start, yes, but it then morphs into a rock-solid foundation upon which we now can live our lives grounded on the rock of Jesus, and not the shifting sands of Self, stupidity and pride.

The previously much needed crutch dissipates, as does the lameness and the blindness, and we find ourselves running and jumping, and seeing life in a whole new light. Like a newborn foal finding its legs, standing up for the first time, then starting to run around, kicking up its hind legs.

This new life is infused with light, energy, joy, balance and stability.

Now, you might need a crutch. If you don’t have Jesus, you absolutely do. Are you too stupid or too prideful to accept it?

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Matt. 7:24-27)

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