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Raft, Sailboat or Tugboat: Which One Are You?

Someone has suggested that Christians come in three models: rafts, sailboats, and tugboats. First, there are the rafts. Basically they are Christian in name only. They follow Jesus only when someone else pulls or pushes them. Second there are the sailboats. They follow Jesus but only in sunny weather. When stormy weather comes, they go in the direction of the wind and the waves. In other words, they follow the crowd more than they really follow Jesus. Finally there are the tugboats. They follow Jesus regardless of the weather. They go in his direction not only when the wind and the waves serve them but also when the wind and waves oppose them. Tugboats don’t always travel fast, but they travel straight. In our society, we are pressured especially to be sailboat Christians, to think like everyone else, to approve of what everyone else does, to look out for number one before anything else. In other words, we are pushed or pulled to conform with the prevailing cultural lifestyles in order to be accepted, to fit in, to be well thought of. But there are many times when as disciples we have to go against the flow. We can’t, for example, accept the idea that sex outside of marriage is acceptable, or that abortion is no big deal, or that immigrants are somehow a danger to “white” America. We have to be tugboats when it comes to these and other similar issues. We have to go in the direction of Christ no matter what.


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