By Greg Quinn
September 15, 2005
It’s beginning to get that time of the year. September is almost here, and the time to dust off camo clothing begins for another season. First, it’s duck and goose season, and one kind of camo. Then, deer season and another kind of camo. Then, turkey season and another kind of camouflage. We’ll hunt wild pigs this year, and another kind of camo. Next year we’ll be going on an African Safari, and another type of camo will be required. Then, we have some brave men and women who serve our country with honor in our nation’s military, and they wear another kind of camouflage. When we were at the SHOT Show, there were whole sections on just new kind of camouflage, and more and more new releases occur all the time. So, what is the fascination with camouflage?
Well, camouflage clothing is intended to make the wearer blend in with their environment. We learned this from the animal kingdom, where for survival the snakes, lizards, birds, turtles, frogs, various mammals, and many other animals have unique skins or coats to make them invisible within their surroundings from predators who would do them harm. So, mankind realized that we could also don clothing that would make us invisible in our surroundings. Hence the beginning of the camo industry.
Camouflage began its popularity to protect our military. If we were invisible within our surroundings, we could be better soldiers. Snipers could get closer to take out enemy. Whole platoons could hide in the woods wearing camo and entrap the enemy troops. In Vietnam, we used jungle camo to blend in with the jungle surroundings. In Iraq, we use desert camo to better blend in with the desert environment. Our military paints our tanks, trucks, etc., along with providing camouflage clothing for our soldiers, to give our military an advantage when confronting the enemy in different environments.
It wasn’t long before wearing Vietnam-surplus BDUs were just the thing for hunting in the Tennessee woods. Being “camouflaged” got us closer to our game. Then, camo became more sophisticated for particular seasons, type of hunting, regions of the country, temperature, etc. We now have countless versions of camo for all different purposes and terrains. In my own closet, I bet I have a good dozen different types or brand names of camo clothing. In addition to camouflaging vision, we also camo our smell through a great assortment of odor camo products. The camouflage industry is huge, and getting larger.
Well, with all this fascination with
camouflage, I wondered how this affects our lives spiritually.
What, if anything, does God say along the topic of camouflage?
Are we Christians best to blend in with the rest of society?
Or, are we to stand out as a people separate?
I think Jesus answered these questions very well in several occasions,
one of the best being in some of his earliest teachings to his disciples, as
recorded in Matthew 5:14-16:
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Jesus tells us that are believers to not wear spiritual camouflage. We are not to blend in with the rest of the world. We are to let our light, the light of God living within us, shine as a light on a candlestick. We are to be like the city on a hill, with our lights shining for miles. We are to light up the houses that we are in, the cities that we are in, and the world in which we live. To live a life as a Christian, and to let our light so shine as that others see God living in us, is to give glory to God. And, living a life as a light will draw others to this light, just as a light draws a candlefly by night.
We live in a dark, dreary, sinful world. We turn on the news and hear of the darkness. We see murders and rapes and robberies and child molestation and sexual sins and deviances and disobedience to parents and adultery and fornication and the list goes on and on and on. This is the world in which we live. It is a cold, dark place. There is one light, and that is the light of goodness that comes from within the heart of those that are saved through the grace of almighty God. We Christians are the only true light of this world. We hold within us the light of salvation through Jesus Christ. We lead others to God more by how we live our lives, how our lights shine, than anything we can say with our mouths. We are the light in this dark world. So, if we are the light, then why not let it shine?
So, don’t wear spiritual camouflage. Don’t try to blend in. Don’t be afraid of the predators eating you if you stand out, because if God is with you, who can be against you? Christians are designed to stand out. We are the “anti-camo” group. When all the world is working very hard to blend in with one another, we are commanded to stand out, to be a non-conformist, to be a light on a hill, and to light up the houses in which we live.
If you have confessed Jesus as your savior and have accepted his true love through his sacrifice for your sins, then you have within you this light. Let it out! Let it shine! This light attracts others, and banded together, we Christians can certainly shine an incredibly bright light in a dark world.
So, this season, as you are donning your favorite camouflage for that special hunting trip, remember that it’s OK to wear camo on the outside, but your light must shine through from the inside.
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