I look back on opportunities I’ve had to speak up and make a difference with utter embarassment sometimes. Why didn’t I say that thing? Why didn’t I do something when I had the chance? How could I be such a coward? Honestly, it makes me sick to my stomache how pathetically weak my faith is sometimes. This is not God’s will for us. God does not give us a spirit of fear.
There are moments of boldness. There are times when I won’t back down. There are times when I say, share, and do things that are distressing to people that don’t believe. Among them are people I love and cherish. For the most part, even if my position isn’t agreed with, my passion is and we agree to disagree. Unfortunately, when these conflicts happen on social media, people are emboldened to say and do things they wouldn’t in a more personal setting.
It’s shameful that relationships that have been heavily invested in can come to and end in such an impersonal way, but it happens. Loved ones have quietly shut me out and moved on. Some make a spectacle of their disagreement and announce publicly that they’re withdrawing their love. Of the two, I’d rather have someone cut me off and keep it movin’. That’s not always the case, unfortunately. As much as I’d like to do whatever possible to hold on to those relationships when the opportunity is there, we’re at an impasse.
I cannot cower in my allegiance to the God that has forgiven and given me so much. I cannot pretend that He is not there and He is the one that I answer to. I’m going to choose Him over any loved one. I have to. Where do I go without Him? Where is there TO go? And so, some have to go. The Lord will do His pruning, and I fully accept that it’s for the greater good, no matter how painful this is.
I share these feelings for my brothers and sisters that have been bold in their witness. It hurts to be lashed out by people you love, but you’re not alone. No, you don’t get to keep all the relationships you’ve invested in, but God will surround you with your true family. God will provide us with our family and our friends. It is God that orders our steps and numbers our days. It is God who truly knows who is in our circle of influence and why. Take heart, dear Christian.
If you have not yet spoken into or engaged in any of the cultural issues facing the world today, know that the world WILL judge you. You WILL be chastised and thought of a fool. You WILL be attacked spiritually, emotionally, and in some cases physically. Count the cost. Be ready to accept the losses that come with faithfulness. Be ready to be slandered and forgotten by people you love deeply. Following Christ comes with a price. It’ll cost you your entire life as you know it.
I have had to repent of my weakness more than I can stand to admit to you. Take heed. Pray. Ask for forgiveness and boldness. Ask to be lead in spirit and truth. Whatever you do, don’t ride the fence. Be bold in what you stand for. Our God will accept nothing less than that.
So very true…and so very hard. But what you speak is exactly what Jesus promised when he said in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” and in Matthew 10:22, “and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
Someone who spoke a good deal on the topic of costly faith was Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book “The Cost of Discipleship”…and he should know very well how much it cost…because his faith, and his boldness, and his stand…cost him his life.
How much are we willing to lose to answer the same call?