Monday, October 24, 2005

Not Ashamed

Have you ever been so passionate about something that without hesitation you stood up for it? Or maybe you've been so fired up about an issue that no matter the situation, no matter how much bigger the other's argument was, you stood your ground and made your voice heard? A lot of the time, many of use do just that. We stand up for things that we believe in, like whether or not abortion is right, why we must have equality, and even whether or not drugs should be illegal, but many times we are ashamed of, or forget to support and stand up for, the One who is most important: our Father in Heaven.

There was this one day during my freshman year of college that the student life organization at my school sponsored an "open microphone" session in the school's atrium. I remember walking by and hearing my fellow classmates discussing whether or not reality TV shows and sitcoms like "Sex in the City" affected the lives of those who watched them.

Interested, I sat down and began to listen to the arguments of those who were speaking. One girl rose out of her chair and began speaking about how she believed the shows had no affect on the lives of the viewers. In fact, she even went as far as to say that they should become more sensual and revealing! At this point I became enraged at what was being said and I jumped out of my seat to leave. As I gathered my stuff to leave the auditorium, the host of the open microphone session asked if anyone else wanted to speak on the matter. Without warning "I do" came flowing out of my mouth as if someone had pulled a drawstring out of my back and this response was preprogrammed by my "manufacturer".

I remember thinking to myself, "What just happened? I just said yes to talking about an issue that I have not prepared to speak about!" In what seemed like a nanosecond, I was on stage in a chair with a microphone in hand contemplating what exactly I was doing. I remember holding the microphone so hard that sweat began to build around my grip. I don't have a problem with speaking in front of people, in fact, I enjoy it. But at this moment I was confused at how I even made it on stage.

As a looked at the crowd I remember thinking in my head, "I believe in God". It was at this moment that I realized that God had put me there for a reason. I then spoke to the crowd about how God does not approve of the shows and how we need to make a conscious effort to stay away from them. I didn't pound them in the ground with the "you're going to Hell" speech, rather I allowed God to speak through me so that I could affect the source, their heart.

At a time where I could have easily left God out of the dispute by arguing about how we are becoming numb to what the things of this world do to us, I instead stood up for God and expressed the standard that He expects.

When it comes down to it, if we do not stand up for Christ, it is either because we are ashamed of Him, or we do not have faith in who He is. In 2 Corinthians 4:13, Paul talks to us about why he preached, "But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, "I believed in God, and so I speak." Because of Paul's faith in Christ, he held nothing back; he stood up for and spoke to all about Jesus and he not ashamed (Romans 1:16).

When you get a chance to openly talk about Christ, do you sink into the background and pass up the opportunity that Christ has given you to share Him with others? Are you ashamed of Christ or is your faith fake? If we are truly passionate about our relationship with Christ, we should not hide Him from others. Mark 8:38 tells us that if we are ashamed of Jesus, He too will be ashamed of us and Mark 8:35 tells us that by giving up our life for Christ's sake and for the sake of the Good News, we will find true life. Therefore, we must never hesitate to share and stand up for Christ and we must never be ashamed of Him. For if we want to change the world, we've got to speak up.

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