That is not what ships are built for


“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” -John Augustus Shedd

It’s tempting to read words like those from today’s Epistle and feel content. “So we have known and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them” (1 John 4:16).

Abiding sounds like being snug in port, securely tied to the dock, battened down, gently rocking on the peaceful swells. It’s a lovely picture.

But that’s not what ships are built for, and that’s not what we are meant for.

John goes further in his letter: “Those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also” (1 John 4:21).

Abiding in God means living in the way God lives – out in the world, vulnerable, open, available, giving without fear. We can live that way because God did it first in the person of Jesus.

So don’t be afraid to put out from safe harbor, and don’t be afraid of the storms that may come. That’s what your ship is built for, and the One who built it abides in you.


2 thoughts on “That is not what ships are built for


    Dear, dear Rodger Patience,

    You are something else! Your writing impresses me, your thoughts often convict me, your faith builds me up. I am proud to call you my own!

    I love you, Mom


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