This morning I went to search something on Bing. What did I want to search? I typed in, “Christians are” and then waited to see what suggested results came up. Here is what I found:
Being a genuine follower of Jesus Christ is frowned upon by so many in the world today. Why? Jesus Himself claimed that the world hated Him and so would hate His followers too (Matthew 10:22)! There is a crucial balance between being in the world and not of the world that often we misunderstand for being in the world and tolerant with the world’s desires.
Being in the world does not mean condoning what the world does. It does not mean engaging with everything the world says is good and okay. Our culture says that you do what you think is right, I’ll do what I think is right, and we will never say the other is wrong and we will never tell the other how to live his or her life. This leads to a neglect of moral standards, there is no absolute morality, and it concedes that truth and moral uprightness are in the eye of the person acting it out.
For example, if you think pornography use is good for you, but I disagree, I will continue to not engage in pornography, but I will also not bring up to you the relational consequences of pornography, the brain chemistry changes that come through extended porn usage, and the other harmful long term effects that come as a result of pornography. I will not spare you from these consequences because for you it is right, though it is not right for me. Truth and morality become subjective.
This is the world we live in. Right and wrong is not black and white.
It is into this world that we have been commissioned to share the Gospel and to live out the Good News of Jesus Christ in our words and actions.
In Acts 18:9 (NLT) we see Luke write about Paul’s experience:
“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent!”
This is the kind of courage we need to have. In a world and a society that tells us as Christians to be silent, to not speak out, we must learn to not be afraid. We will be hated, we will be wronged, and you know what, we will do wrong! We are human and we don’t always control our words or actions well. We will certainly at times be poor examples of Christ.
But, when we err on the side of not being afraid and err on the side of speaking out for our faith in Jesus Christ with love and humility, we are definitely heading in the right direction.
So today, do not be afraid. Pursue Jesus Christ with all that you have and make Him known in the way that you love others, in the way that you show compassion and concern for Christians and non-Christians alike. Do not be afraid to humbly, boldly, authentically live out your faith. Don’t be a hearer only, but be a fearless doer of the Word.