Suffering for Righteousness: Learning to Speak about My Faith
Happy Monday, y’all!
Today’s post marks the first of a month-long Monday series I am starting called “Suffering for Righteousness.” I am starting with a light topic, and planning to delve deeper into the mystery of life with Christ – a life in which suffering is counted as joy.
I am a passionate person.
I always have been.
So, when the God of the universe revealed Himself to me as a Living God in Jesus Christ, who was eternal, who had died for sins so that we could actually live FREELY FOR HIM, my first instincts were to tell the whole world.
Forgetting that other people might not believe this, nor have any context, nor be in any position to hear it. Forgetting, at first, that I might be met with anger or hatred or downright denial.
Most of the conversations I have engaged in that have been prompted by others about my faith – which I am very open about – have been really wonderful and respectful, most importantly.
But, sometimes, especially when engaging with someone I am very close with, these conversations are NOT very respectful. My humanness and selfishness takes over.
“In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 PETER 3:15
This verse quieted my soul, and drew me to my Father. It reminded me that, even if the CONTENT I am speaking is Truth, and biblically sound, it is made FALSE if I am speaking it in opposition to this verse – without gentleness/respect.
Sometimes, my pride is mistaken for Jesus’ righteousness. Sometimes, my anguish in wanting others to know the eternal promises of Jesus that result in great joy and purpose where this empty, blink-of-an-eye world offers nothing eternal results in… anger. Tears. Emotion. Frustration.
Taking these human emotions to the cross is amongst the most difficult parts of my “self” to give to Him, because they are easily masked as “Christ-like” emotions.
Now, dear reader, if you are reading this and are not a Christian – aren’t these words such a good reminder in your mind, too? Essentially: KNOW what you believe and why you believe it, soundly. Be prepared to support your faith and beliefs – but always with gentleness and respect.
And, for me, in this way I am “revering Christ as Lord.”
A prayer for the passionate Jesus-follower, whose pride gets in the way of Christ’s gentleness:
Lord, I love You. I want to represent You, honour You, and glorify You in all of my words and actions. Holy Spirit, show me what that looks like, especially with those who do not know you, and who downright don’t believe in You. Remind me that You love them more than I ever could – incomprehensibly so. Remind me that Your timing is perfect, and mine is incredibly flawed! Jesus, more of You in me. Amen.