One of the scriptures that I read today reminded me of something that I have thought about a lot over the years, and something I’ve always tried to model for our children as well as for other believers around me.
John 7:13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews.
The devotional portion of this today was talking about fear of talking about Christ outside of the church, and that when it comes to public proclamations of faith many people are embarrassed and won’t acknowledge God. Jesus lost His life because we wasn’t afraid to share the scriptures with others in public, yet so many Christians won’t say a simple blessing of their food in public, or won’t even mention the name of God (unless it is being used in a curse word) to others because of fear….whether it is fear of being embarrassed or fear of being ridiculed or rejected. This is something that I have always tried to model to others….with God in me I am a different person. I try to not let fear or embarrassment or stepping too far out of my comfort zone hinder my outward expressions of faith (notice I said I TRY….I do sometimes fail, however that often is because I don’t want the person that is with me that may not be a believer to be uncomfortable). Do I pray in public to bless my food? Yep. We do it as a family….something I never wanted my kids to be embarrassed about….always wanted them to feel like it was normal. Will I pray for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ while in public (out shopping or while waiting for a car to be repaired, or whatever) when a need is shared? Yep! I do, however, always ask the other person if I can pray with them. I’ve actually never been turned down 🙂 Do I talk openly about my faith while in public? I try to. Now, Please please please do not get the impression that I am trying to share a “holier than thou” experience! I am not! I have a bold personality, and I grew up in a home where you were always allowed to and encouraged to share your opinion on things. So sharing my faith through outward expressions while in public is not something that makes me uncomfortable (although I TRY to be mindful of those that are with me that might be uncomfortable). I KNOW that most people don’t have the personality that can share their faith in such outward expressions with ease and comfort. And that is ok…God created us all as individuals, with individual personalities. And THANK GOODNESS!!!!! Could you imagine what life would be like if everyone was the same? I have very dear friends whose faith I admire so very very much because it is very quiet and meek, and you just KNOW that there is something different about them just by watching them for a few moments. That is not who God created me to be, just as He didn’t create them to be like I am……He created a balance. HOWEVER, if you were to ask these same friends where their hope lies? Or what it is that allows them to remain quiet and meek in trying times, they will, without shame, share that their hope and faith comes from the Lord. But they would share that if asked, not just in general conversation.
Today, in our country, we don’t necessarily have to be in fear of the leaders (at least not TODAY) when we openly share our faith. But sometimes our own personal comfort levels come into play, and I try to remember that I am setting an example with my children and other young believers around me.