Updated: Apr 30
Sometimes, I hear people talking badly about God or about His people, and I have this impulse to just defend God, tell them off and let them see that they are wrong but, then, I don't.
I stay quiet and let those arguments die down, though I may be aching to let them spill out.
Sometimes I don't say a thing because I rather not quarrel, or I don't have enough argument points for and other times I don't because I am afraid of what they will think and say of me, and that's a horrible reason to stay quiet.
Staying quiet because you fear what others will say and think of you is detrimental to us and the subject of the matter we were supposed to be defending.
Not doing anything you ought to do because you are afraid of what others are going to think or say about you is detrimental to your spiritual and personal growth, and this hit me hard when I noticed that I was afraid of the image that I would be painted in if I had opened up my mouth to speak.
I was afraid that those people, who I was starting to get comfortable with, were just going to write me off as some crazy Christian girl who is delusional and doesn't know what she is talking about.
I was afraid that they would judge me for standing up to God or that they would abandon me because I was trying to teach them about something that they probably didn't care about.
I was afraid that I would lose friends and throw away the prospect of making new ones because of my faith and my relationship with God and that made me stay quiet, which, eventually, showed me that I was ashamed of God.
That made me sick and left me shameful.
The idea of being ashamed of God, of speaking about Him in public just struck me as horrible because it's wrong.
It was wrong of me to sing songs of praise and worship to Him when I was alone, and then cower away when I was supposed to defend Him in public.
It felt wrong for me to pray for my friends and family in secret and then feel ashamed or cringy to do it with others or openly.
It felt wrong for me to openly express my love for God in secret but then tuck it in when I was with people I deemed uninterested in hearing about God.
It just felt wrong of me to be daily confessing to God that I want to live my life for Him and then go out there and feel afraid and ashamed to actually live out that life.
I would always feel the need to warn my peers about the sins they were indulging in but then I would cower away because I didn't want to come off as a prude or some conservative Christian girl.
I was so afraid of not pleasing my peers, of not fitting in, that I forgot that I only have one main Person to please in my life and that I was not brought to conform to the ways of this world, but yes have my mind reformed (Romans 12:2) and I needed my mind to be reformed.
Thankfully, God was there to help me see that I was going back to my desire to fit in so badly that I was letting go of my new found desire to please, love and serve Him well.
God showed me that I was too focused on what others have to do and that I was far too busy fearing people and their opinions, things that pale in comparison to Him.
He helped me to see that I was holding on to sins that I have to let go of in order to focus on the race that is set before me (Hebrews 12:1-2). The sins that were preventing me from focusing on the prize ahead, focusing my eyes above and storing my treasures up where Jesus is.
It showed me that I was trying to please God and the world, which doesn't ever work.
We will never be able to please both God and the world, the same way we cannot be a friend of both. It's impossible to please God and please the world, for if we please one, we make enemies with the other.
Unfortunately, I was focusing too much on making friends with the world, and forgetting that it was driving me to rupture my relationship with God and this new me He has been transforming on a daily basis.
I was too focused on trying to please the world, trying to get everyone around me to love me that I was forgetting the new desires placed in my heart; the desire to focus on loving and serving God and His people.
I was forgetting about the bare essential as I chased the impossible: pleasing the world.
I acknowledge my shameful sins and decided that I would no longer stand in fear of men or be ashamed of God for whatever reason.
I begged God to pull out of me the coward that was out there afraid of mere men that can only kill the body but can't do a single thing to the soul (Matthew 10:28), when I have God right next to me, who can destroy both the body and the soul, and He works for my good.
And this is the truth that I want to point across:
No matter who hates you, who is against you, mocking you, God is for you, guarding you and no one will be as powerful and loving as Him.
Yes, we are surrounded by people every day and every day we are given chances to live our lives for the sake of proving ourselves worthy to everyone else or live our lives for God, trusting with everything we have got that we are extremely valuable to Him. So valuable that He gave up His own life for our own.
I know it can be scary, weird or against our cultures to preach about God, maybe because we are ashamed of Him, afraid that people will cast us out from our communities because of our relationship with Him or maybe we are far too focused on trying to appear like the friendly, approachable and engaging citizen of the world that we forget who truly matters.
It can be scary to go out there and do something that goes against the world: Passionately preach the Good News, unashamedly declare your love for God. Yet, I have a tip for the both of us:
I believe, wholeheartedly, that if we meditate on the Word of God everyday, if we take a bold hold of the promises that are ours in Christ, we are going to understand that we have no one to fear but God.
If we just take one promise or truth from the Bible, such as Romans 8:28 or Deuteronomy 31:6, I believe that it will help us to understand where we stand in life and Who stands by us.
For me, this one helps a lot in helping me focus on who truly matters:
"Be strong and brave. Don't be afraid of them and don't be frightened, because the Lord your God will go with you. He will not leave you or forget you."
- Deuteronomy 31:6 NCV
This, when meditated, helps me to understand that God will be with me wherever I will go, even if it is to the grounds where people will humiliate me or shun me for my faith. It helps me to understand that I don't need to be afraid of anyone or anything they will think of me because it only matters what God thinks of me. It only matters what God thinks of you.
It only matters if God is pleased with what you are doing, not if everyone else is. Don't be afraid of anyone because the Person to be feared the most is with you. Don't be afraid to evangelise to your friends because you think you will lose them... Even if you do get mocked, God has the last laugh so trust Him and trust that His power is within you and that words He allows you to speak plant seeds. Seeds take time to grow so, don't be afraid of preaching about Jesus, never be ashamed of Him and never quit. Though you might not see much growth, trust in Him who makes all blossom when its due time.
Actually, let me challenge to a little accountability act:
Go on Twitter or Instagram, use your creative skills to represent the Truth or Promise from God that you will meditate on for the week and use the hashtage #claimingthetruth or #claimingthispromise as well as tagging @creatin4christ (Twitter) or creating4christ (Instagram)
The idea of this challenge to have people holding themselves accountable in meditating on the truths and promises from God that are theirs to grab, in Christ.