What Happened to Your Anchor

Granddaddy loved to fish and he was good at it. I grew up about a mile from his house and had a permanent fishing buddy. He had a small john boat with an electric trolling motor mounted on the stern. It was a small lake and gasoline engines were prohibited. He kept two homemade anchors in the boat. He’d crafted them from paint cans filled with cement. A metal hook protruded from the top which was attached to a nylon rope. We would ease up to a known bed of bream, gently lower the two anchors and fill the stringer with all the fish we could handle. Those were great days.

But some days the wind was too strong and despite the paint-can-anchors we would be dragged away from our fishing spot. Even sadder, culture is being dragged along because we have weak cultural anchors.

The results are obvious. Sin is no longer an issue. Every possible desire is to be accepted regardless of the impact on self or on others. You cannot say someone is wrong. People are more self-centered and demanding than ever before. What I want is more important than what someone else needs. Jesus is lost among the reality stars, ballplayers, and politicians.

What happened?

No Anchors

About a third of respondents report attending church serves weekly, a third report monthly or yearly attendance and a third report seldom or no church attendance (Pew Research). These numbers are pretty consistent across the past 10 years and accurately reflect my surveys among college students. Attendance is a piece of religious life and is not the total package. But it is probably the single best measurement of the value of the Bible in forming individual values or core beliefs.

Some people have no anchor at all. They are carried along with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14) and are tossed about like a wind-driven wave (James 1:6). They often do good, very good things to help others but they have no single core against which they check and analyze their ideas and motives. Their morality is subject to change with the culture. Their morality is an opinion. What they believe to be wrong today is possible right tomorrow.

Lightweight Anchors

Many people have a foundation but it is not sufficient to steel them against the challenges of the world. Peer pressure is an incredible wind that can do either good or ill. A person who is not well grounded will drift. Jesus calls on us to be unmoveable.

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cornthians 15:58).

We labor to remain sound in a world where we are encouraged to be tolerant and accepting. Instead, let us be loving enough to challenge the errors of modern thinking. What does it say about us when we watch another person slide into sin?

Broken Ropes

Some folks had an anchor that was strong and unmoveable but somehow allowed their connection to that faith break. It’s sad because you remember that anchor and truly miss it. You feel lost as you slip further and further into a worldly culture. What can you do?

I run across people who sometimes remark that they used to be members of the Body of Christ. They were active and involved but not so much anymore. “What happened?” we ask. “I don’t know. I guess life happened. Marriage, kids, work demands, all took their toll. Before we knew it, we were out.” That is probably an honest statement. Our faith must be cared for, repaired when damaged, and always checked for weakness. Once the rope breaks it can be hard to repair.

Sometimes, a boat with a big anchor can help secure one that is drifting, If you have a strong faith, watch for those who struggle. Paul said to “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Even people you do not like, need your help. Peak at the Old Testament command in Exodus 23:5. Paul said the people with bog anchors have a responsibility to people whose anchors are weak (Romans 15:1).

The only way to stop our societal drift is with big anchors. It’s time to stop complaining and get to work. The wind is blowing hard!

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