Swimming Against the Tide
There is a term that is used in life when you do or say the opposite of what most other people are doing or saying. Another, more proper definition states, "To act or behave in opposition or contrary to what is generally understood, assumed, practiced, or accepted." The term to which I am referring is swimming against the stream and it is one that you should probably memorize and repeat to yourself throughout the rest of your life. In fact, it's probably a trait you may very well wear as one of life's medals.
Now, to get to the gist of the matter; what's important is the overarching lesson in this expression that sometimes in life, what appears to be the popular thing to do is not always the best thing for you. Many times in life, the folks we hang out with may
choose to do things that you as a follower of Jesus know better not to do.
In his first letter to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote something that gives us guidance. In chapter 15, he wrote, "Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”" I think Paul became accustomed to swimming against the tide during his life. Clearly, his many epistles tell of his decisions to go the way of righteousness. In fact, in his second Corinthian letter, he wrote in chapter 11, "24 Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I suffered shipwreck; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brothers; 27 in weariness and painfulness, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, and in cold and nakedness." All of this was a result of Paul swimming against the tide.
There are many other great men and women in history whose lives demonstrate the character trait of swimming against the tide. Some of these include Jesus of Nazareth, Nicodemus, Saint Stephen, the apostle Peter, William Wallace, Susan B. Anthony, Abraham Lincoln, Golda Meir, Martin Luther King, Jr., Margaret Thatcher, Harriet Tubman and many others. It can be argued that these historical figures each learned to swim against the tide and the fact that they are remembered decades and even millennia is a testament to their greatness.
And that's one of the biggest possible consequences to swimming agains the tide. Namely, greatness! Learn to judge your steps based on a righteousness found in God's Word and a relationship through Jesus Christ and greatness can be yours.