Convictions Sermon Illustrations

Convictions Sermon Illustrations

Courage of Conviction

Harry Shepler, a young man of whom the Sunday School Times tells, was in the signal service. Being ordered one morning by a sergeant to report for duty at the canteen, he refused to do so, and the sergeant threatened to report him to the officer that day.

`All right,' said Shepler, `go ahead. I did not enlist to be a bartender but a soldier, and I will not report at the canteen.'

He was duly reported to the major who sent for him. Shepler went with trembling knees and with a steady heart, for he knew he was right. The officer said to him, 'Are you the young man who disobeyed orders this morning?'

`Yes, sir, I am.'

`Why did you do it?'

`Simply because I do not believe it is right to do what I was asked to do. I enlisted to be a soldier and not a bartender.'

The major arose quickly from his stool and, extending his hand, said: `Shepler, you are the kind of man we want. I am glad to see a fellow who has the courage of his convictions. You are not obliged to report at the canteen.'

(Acts 22. 1; 26.2; 1 Cor. 16. 13; 1 Pet. 3. 15, 16)

I forgot the name of the man who wrote this editorial, but it is wisdom: "One of the evils of this modern day, if we be any judge, is the scarcity of men and women in places of leadership who are willing to speak their convictions at the risk of popularity. The thought was pointed out the other day, when we came across this striking statement: 'Every man must fight the evil he sees. If he doesn't oppose it; he accepts it.' Turn that statement over again in your thinking. There is enough grist for the mill to stay busy many an hour. There is too much of a premium today in just being nice. We lack the courage to strike out at evil in high or in popular places. Acquiesence may be as much a sin as initiating that sin. Silence certainly gives consent.

"Esteem isn't necessarily won by drifting with the crowd. In fact, it seldom is so won. Those who win admiration are those who dare to express their convictions. Those names which have come down through history are the names of men who gambled their lives for their convictions. 'Every man must fight the evil he sees.  If he doesn't oppose it; he accepts it.'"

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