Friday, July 20, 2012

For I am not ashamed... or am I?

Mark 8:38 "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels.” 

It happened again. The moment of truth. I'm no stranger to these types of situations, yet almost every time they arise, I feel that cringe. A few weeks ago, a co-worker and I were chatting and I mentioned that I had met an acquaintance of hers recently. She responded "She told me you two had met at a Bible study". THUD.
Sarah Ryan is an EMT and a pre-nursing student in the mountains of Colorado. She delights herself in the Lord, enjoys writing, and appreciates a good emergency. Check out her blog - A Funny Thing.   
Bible study? Bible. Study. BIBLE STUDY! She knows! She knows that I go out and study the Bible with other like-minded individuals! What must she think of me?! She must think I’m nuts!

My thoughts are rampant; yet I know that I am not alone in this. I quickly felt ashamed that I'd feel ashamed that someone would know that I study the Bible. Really, what is there to hide? I know; the situation could have been far worse; excuse my overreaction. It was this event though that sparked within me the memories of being questioned about my beliefs in years gone by.

In the people that I surveyed for writing this article, almost everyone has felt slightly uncomfortable when the truth about their Christianity is revealed. It's not that we're ashamed of our walk with Christ and certainly, I would never trade my relationship with Jesus for the acceptance of others.

Yet, what is this feeling that swells within me when faced with what I believe? Are we so afraid of letting the world know that we love Jesus?  In our moments at Church, at Bible study, among fellowship with Believers, we use phrases like "Praise God" and tell each other that we will be supporting one another in prayer. Yet how often do we do this with those who we know do not share our beliefs? When's the last time you told an unbeliever "Praise God for the work He is doing in your life. I will be praying for you."

The Bible teaches us plenty about being hated by the world, that this is to be expected. I sure don't live my life feeling hated by the world; in fact, I feel mostly liked by the world. Unless of course, I were to openly talk about my Christianity as some freely update their facebook statuses.

Do you get my gist?

The heart of the modern Christian today is taking a back seat to evangelism and just being a "positive" influence around others, rarely explaining why we love the Lord, and why we serve Him. Furthermore, we remain silent when the opportunity for preaching Christ arises, feeling uncomfortable or making up a plethora of excuses, my favorite being "the timing just wasn't right".

Plagued by my internal response to the co-worker situation, I decided to give this some serious thought. I went home. I read my Bible. I prayed about it. I talked to others about it. I researched it (or rather, tried to research it; there's not much information out there on this topic).

Here is what I have concluded:

We, (meaning our society as a whole) are consumed with being accepted amongst our peers, co-workers and family members. Think back to your elementary school days; do you remember the one outcast kid of the group? The one that was needlessly picked upon and never taken seriously? In a modern sense, we fear turning into "that kid". Afraid others will get the wrong idea about what we believe or classify us in the not so glorious Bible believing-Church attending-Spirit slaying-wacko-Christian category.

And honestly, I've got to hand it to those who don't believe what I believe in. Seriously, our beliefs do sound strange and it is sometimes uncomfortable to just "get it out there". God created the world in six days? Eve committed the first sin because she ate some piece of fruit? There was no redemption available to man-kind except the crucifixion of God's Son, who not only was sinless but He was fully God and fully man? He died for all of humanities sins both past and present, and He rose again, three days later? He's promised us life eternal if we fully confess our sins and commit our lives wholly to Him? He'll be returning for His Bride (the Church) at some point in the future?!?

I. Get. It.

I know it sounds wild and I understand that we're afraid of being pegged as a crazy Christian zealot. But are we really so afraid (and of what? What is it that we're afraid of? Condemnation? Being thought of as weird? Losing friends and respect of others?) That we're willing to just stay silent on a matter that is so important to us?

That we're willing to let those we love and care about go to hell?

Because guess what? That's what we're doing. Every passing opportunity that we allow to slip through our fingers because of whatever excuse we've come up with is another moment lost forever in time. Don't forget; it could be that individuals last moment, their last opportunity to hear Christ.

People need Jesus. It's time we stopped being so complacent and living in our "only the church" matters realm. We need to get the word, the ministry, the saving life of Jesus Christ out there. Any Bible believing Christian knows that we do not belong to the world, and yet, the majority of us live our lives as if we do belong to the world. We maintain silence when the truth needs to be spoken. And all for the sake of impression, of being what I like to call an undercover Christian. We try to pass as "one of the crowd" while simultaneously shining as a bright light in this dark, lost world.

It's not working. It's not ever going to work.

This feeling of being uncertain, unwilling, or scared to share Jesus is a trap that Satan uses to get us to stop sharing the Gospel, to stop spreading the message of Hope.

Push past it.

Swallow your pride. That feeling is merely the flesh, and the flesh is what we battle against daily. Just as you have learned to overcome your fleshly desires, you can overcome that feeling of cringe. In the same way that we are to watch our life and doctrine closely, we ought to be fighting against Satan and the traps that he has placed before us

And so, I challenge you to sidestep those feelings of uncertainty and push past the uncomfortable. If you truly believe that what you believe in is the absolute truth, why then wouldn't you share it?

Allow Jesus to permeate your conversations this week. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain (Read Romans 7:15-25).
Image By: Autumn_Bliss

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2 comments:

  1. Sarah, I just wanted to say how great this post was. You really did a fantastic job on the article. Nicely done and I hope people checkout your blog!

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