Hurricane Irma left a path of devastation when it lumbered through Southwest Florida. It could have been much worse, nevertheless the hurricane made some lasting marks on our area. One of the victims of its wrath was the devastation on local boats that were not secured. Officials did their best to clean out the sunken or sinking boats that littered our waterways. They hauled the shipwrecked vessels onto a makeshift graveyard near the interstate. The word was put out that owners should come and take what they wanted from the shipwrecks before a certain deadline. They would then be destroyed. I feel sorry for those boat owners that lost so much in the hurricane.
Shipwrecks are tragic. However there is another type of shipwreck that is even more serious. The great apostle Paul spoke about the need for believers to practice self-discipline in their walk with the Lord. 1 Cor. 9:26-28: “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. We can become careless in our spiritual walk and cause great damage not only to our own lives but also to those who are watching us. We can run aground in our morals, we can steer into the dangerous reef of a self-focused life, and we can break up our vessels with various addictions. We can become shipwrecked in our behavior but we can also become shipwrecked in our beliefs. Paul wrote to Timothy with the warning: “Having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck” (1 Tim. 1:19). There are so many siren calls that tempt us away from the straight course of biblical teaching.
The Christian life is not all smooth sailing. We must watch out for the dangers that can come our way. We must guard our beliefs as well as our behavior. The sight of that ship’s graveyard off the interstate is truly tragic. Let’s make sure that we don’t become a spiritual shipwreck.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation