At the beginning of every Boy Scout meeting, a Scout recites the Boy Scout Oath and Boy Scout Law. Many Scouts do not realize the connection between the values of Scouting and the Bible. Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement, once said, “Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity” – (Scouting & Christianity, 1917).
This is the continuation of the series of blogs examining the connection between the values of Scouting and the Bible.
A Scout is…Cheerful
A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way and tries his best to make others happy, too.
The eighth point of the Scout Law is, “A Scout is cheerful.”
Cheerfulness implies an optimistic, positive outlook on life that rubs off on those around us. It doesn’t mean that a Scout is supposed to be happy that unpleasant things happen, but that he should have a positive outlook despite unfortunate circumstances.
Jesus taught His disciples to be cheerful despite their circumstances. In John 16:33, Jesus said:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The disciples were not to be cheerful because of their tribulations, but in spite of them. Of the eleven disciples (excluding Judas, who hanged himself), all but John died a martyr’s death. Peter was crucified upside-down. John died in exile on the island called Patmos. Christians have been persecuted throughout history, and continue to be persecuted, imprisoned, and martyred today in many places. Voice of the Martyrs is an organization that is dedicated to assisting persecuted Christians worldwide.
With all the opposition and persecution, as well as just the everyday issues we all face, what basis is there for a Christian to be cheerful? Jesus gives us the answer: “I have overcome the world.” Without Jesus, there is no real hope, no real peace, and no real reason to be cheerful. As the bumper sticker says, “Life’s a b****, and then you die.” But, because Jesus took our sin upon Himself, died, and then rose the third day, the Christian has real hope, can know real peace, and has every reason to be cheerful, despite the garbage and hopelessness around us. And, by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we can give the hopeless world real hope, and a real reason to be cheerful.
This doesn’t mean the Christian will never be in a bad mood, or be apprehensive, or get depressed. We all have bad days; we live in a sin-filled world, and it can be very disheartening. Our fallen, sinful bodies can get biochemical imbalances, and we can suffer from depression or other mental illnesses. However, despite all of these problems, Jesus declares, “but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
How can the Christian be cheerful in the midst of all that life throws at us? By praising God in the midst of life’s storms.
“A Scout is…cheerful” is a value that is firmly rooted in God’s Word. Cheerfulness is what gets us through the difficult times in life, as well as the good times. Cheerfulness, optimism, and a positive attitude can make the difference between merely enduring difficulties and growing through them. Cheerfulness is a trait that benefits both the Scout and the Christian.
A Scout smiles and whistles under all circumstances. ~ Baden-Powell