As Christians, the two things we can do to stand up for Christ are to live according to His Word and grow our own knowledge of Him. In Matthew 5:16, Christ said, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”.
This means that we should live and act in a way that is indicative of God’s Word. Scripture makes it abundantly clear clear that we should have the conviction to stand up for our faith, while at the same time, practice showing love and wisdom and making sure that our personal example backs up our words. Letting others seeing Jesus in you is the most amazing witness ever.
This past Christmas, I was standing in front of a large group of women at the corporate offices of a major bank. I had been contracted to teach a secular class about Holiday Stress Management.
Most of the class was simple life/holiday balance tips, but soon we came to a section of the material that discussed tolerance of religions during the holidays. Although I had studied the material ahead of time, I felt my temperature rise when I neared this discussion. I presented some basic information, and then allowed time for discussion. Many women talked amongst themselves and some offered some feedback for the group, but the big question finally came.
One woman raised her hand and asked, “as a Christian, what should I do when my employer tells me that I cannot have a “Christmas” party, but only a holiday party. What do I do when I am told not to display manger scenes in my cubicle, because it might offend someone?”
Now my face was getting hot. Actually I was sweating all over. Thoughts raced through my mind as I considered that my job could be on the line. But what was truly being impressed on my heart, was that my faith was on the line. Who would I stand for? Jesus or politically correctness? Would I make smile? Jesus or a big wig manager sitting in his leather chair.
I knew the politically correct answer. I knew the answer that this organization would expect me to provide on their behalf, to support their politically correct, religious non-discrimination policies. I knew that from a business standpoint, I should straddle the fence and give an answer that would appeal to everyone in the room.
What seemed like eternity was really only a few seconds, as I struggled with which road to travel. Im proud to say that in this situation, I chose the road less traveled. I expressed my beliefs in a non-judgemental way, and explained what I believed Christmas to be – based on the God sending His son to be born in a manger, eventually to die on an cross for me, so that I could be forgiven and spend eternal life with Him. I expressed my general lack of tolerance for our society’s attempt to remove Christ from Christmas, and how I wanted to encourage every Christian in that room to stand up with confidence for their beliefs. I reminded them that Christianity is normally the religion that gets pushed to the back, while other religions are given more tolerance. I encouraged them to hang Merry CHRISTmas signs in their cubicles, regardless of the political stigmas.
I received some happy applause, a few cold glares, and to my surprise, a few looks of intrigue.
Unfortunately, there have been other times, when I wasnt so bold. When I felt that the potential consequences of standing up for my faith were too great, and I hid my light under a bushel, just to fit in.
These situations happened years ago, and today I am certainly much more bold in my faith that I was then. But I wonder…. what if I was truly put to the test today to stand up for Christ. What if I had to make the choice to deny Christ and live, or speak for Christ and die. What if I was faced with a situation like Cassie René Bernall, from Columbine High School. Cassie didnt lose a job for standing up for her faith, she lost her life. Would I be willing to do that?
Jesus never intended for sharing His word to be a scary, impossible, sweat-inducing burden.God meant for us to be witnesses of Jesus Christ through the natural outcome of living for him. Here are a few suggestions for sharing your faith this week, and weeks to come:
1) Try to start seeing people through Gods eyes, not your own.
2) Write out your testimony, or any story where God has moved in your life, and study it. Be ready to talk about it whenever the opportunity presents itself.
3) Dont try to impress people with Christian lingo, just tell the facts.
4) Listen t0 others. Once they think you care about them, they are all ears.
5) Pray for God to bring someone into your path whom you can witness to.
6) Study Gods word so you will be knowledgeable about discussing it.
These are merely a few, but it will get us started. Sharing your faith is kind of like riding a bike – once you take off the training wheels, you feel more confident than ever! Practice makes perfect.
Challege #4: Share your faith with three people today.
Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
Prayer for today: Dear Jesus, I know I need to share your Word, so forgive me for not always doing that. Sometimes I just worry about public opinion or negative consequences, but I know that my trust is in you, you are my shield and my protection, and that you will always reign over everything. Sometimes, I simply get so bogged down with life, that I forget to allow you to use me to minister to others. Sometimes I just get stuck in my own agenda, and forget. Forgive me.
Lord, I pray that you bring 3 people into my path who did to hear a Word from you, who need a pat on the back or a hug, who need to hear that you love them. Convict my heart as to who I am to minister to. Fill my mouth with words of wisdon for ths person. Help me Lord. I know that once I get started, it will become a beautiful habit that I will no longer be hesitant to do. I cant wait to see how you are going to impact lives today through me!
In Jesus name,