Last week my Bible study group read about the infamous denial of Peter right after Jesus was arrested. Small backstory: Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him three times, Peter said he would never do such a thing, then not longer after Jesus was arrested, Peter denied Jesus to three different people claiming he did “not know the man”.
So naturally the question arose in our small group what would we do if faced with a similar situation? Would we, like Rachel Scott in the tragic Columbine shooting, become a martyr for our faith? Would we choose immediate death for eternal life? Do we serve a God who would damn us to eternal hell because of our fear? As you can see we came up with more questions than we did answers.
But what if the stakes weren’t so high? The world is slipping maddeningly into sin at a rapid rate, that oftentimes I hear the term “Sodom and Gomorrah” thrown around. Besides the sexual perversions Sodom and Gomorrah were plagued with, the people in the cities were proud, selfish, greedy, and gluttonous. In every aspect the “5 cities of the plain” were plagued with sin and overtly rebelling against God. If you don’t know the ending of Sodom and Gomorrah’s story, it ends with quite literal hellfire and brimstone. Nothing is new under the sun, which brings me to our world today. Could you imagine what you would do if someone threatened your life if you admitted that you were a Christ follower? I’d like to believe I’d say yes right on the spot and die for Christ as the disciples did. But would I really? Would I be terrified like Peter and deny Him? Peter walked and talked with Jesus! Saw Him perform miracles and he still denied knowing Him because of his fear of dying and torture. I don’t live in a world where people are being crucified and stoned in the streets, so would I deny Him?
I digress, again. What if your life wasn’t threatened and you were faced with speaking up or staying quiet about your faith? There have been too many times to count that I’ve been silent about my faith. Recently, I felt tested in how I would react when my child was placed in a situation where an adult she knew told her something that goes against what God says in the Bible. We had the long discussion about what God’s word says and how it differs from what this adult told her. Immediately she knew that the adult was wrong, but didn’t say anything. How could she? As her parent it was my job to step in because the conversation was inappropriate. I prayed about how to handle the situation–I was anxious! My immediate reaction was to fly off the handle, but I kept hearing God whisper, “hold on, slow down–you can’t win people to Christ if your example of Me is going off half-cocked”. So, I waited and got the full story. The context of the conversation this adult had with my child was inappropriate but not purposeful. In fact, the adult apologized right after I prayed that God would move and help me to handle the situation appropriately and Christlike. God convicted this adult before I even talked with them! And that my friends is the beauty of Christ. He goes before us and fights our battles BEFORE we even get there. Thank you God for being there for me.
This is just a nugget for you to chew on today. Will we deny Him in little ways throughout our day or will we glorify Him? Our reaction in how we handle a tough situation is a testimony in itself. Slow down, Christians, the world is watching.