Sunday, January 11, 2009

"For I am not ashamed..."

"You have God's permission to not have to go through life building a fan club for yourself."

This awesome quote came from my good friend, Brad Baker, who stole it from his pastor. So, if there was any question of credit not being given where credit is due, there shouldn't be now.

I was having a conversation yesterday in which I asked if I was going to be made to sound like some crazy, religious fanatic (don't ask) and the reply I received was "Oh, you don't need my help in that area." After the initial sting and shock, my eyes welled up and I had to force myself not to let the tears fall down my cheeks. Some back tracking occurred from my conversational partner, but the words had been said and their weight was heavy.

It's the next day now and while the weight is still heavy, my thoughts are not as negative as they were. I do not have to go through life building a fan club for myself. I don't need the approval of men to know that I have found favor in the sight of the one who gave His life for me. Being what I like to call "sold out on Jesus" is not something to be ashamed of. Romans 1:16 says "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believe..." Why should someone's intended insult of my faith result in tears on my part? Allow me to share the following passages:

2 Corinthians 12:10- That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Thessalonians 1:4- Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

1 Peter 2:23- When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

The last one is speaking of Jesus. No retaliation, no threats. He simply placed His trust and faith in the One who sent Him here in the first place. I'll go ahead and admit that while I didn't retaliate or make any threats, the reason was more from the fact that I was blindsided from the comment rather than my trying to be more like Jesus.

Ok, so I'm a Christian. And while this is the first time that someone has vocally attempted to insult me without beating around the bush, it will most likely not be the last. My prayer is that the next time it happens, I react much in the same way I did this time, only without the shock (since Paul tells us not be surprised when we are persecuted/insulted for the Gospel message) and with the mindset that I am in good company if I am being accosted for my faith.

"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall be continually in my mouth." -Psalm 34:1


rg said...

You go girl.

Anonymous said...

and just think, that comment doesn't even compare to the history of Christian persecutions:

Theresa Garcia said...

Agreed. And I know that I will never experience persecution to the extent that those Christians did. Persecution, like so many other things in life, can and has evolved over time. And, unlike Christians in China and other countries, I am blessed to live in a nation where I can worship without fear and out in the open.