Sunday, June 10, 2012

An open letter to all "secret Christians"

Dear young Christian,

photo credit: davepear.comI have a question. If you plan on getting married one day (which you most likely do), don't you think you'll be proud of it? I bet it'll be a huge defining moment in your life—one that you won't be able to stop talking (*ehem* bragging) about! Right? I mean, would you even bother making such a massive commitment if you were ultimately going to hide your wedding ring, lock away your spouse, and live as if you were single? Why would you go out of your way to link yourself to someone you're only going to be ashamed of?

Similarly, you've committed to being in a relationship with Christ. This relationship is a much greater, weightier, and more meaningful & fulfilling relationship than marriage will ever be; a defining moment not only in this life, but even in the life to come; a betrothal to someone more beautiful and majestic than anyone this world has to offer. Doesn't that make you proud?

Or... Are you now ashamed of him—the one who was not ashamed to die the (ironically) most shameful death for you?

Wake up, believer! Stand up for your faith. Commit to walk it outheart, mind, action, and speech. It may be the difficult thing to do, but it will eventually prove to be worth it. And besides, denying him would be denying your very identity. If you truly claim to be a Christian, then all of who you are is based solely upon him. You are his child. His follower. His beloved. Will you go as far as hiding away who you are?

Now, if you're afraid you're going to be irrelevant to "outsiders", don't be! Christianity has never been irrelevant. Jesus died for you, yes, but he died for them as well. Don't they deserve to know that? And,just to clarify, standing up for your faith does not in any way mean forcing the gospel down their throats. Living completely in love, purity, and holiness—as Christ daily gives you the power to do—is equivalent to preaching the gospel through your actions.

People desire to be loved. Love them as Christ loved you. Okay, they don't merely desire love, they need it. Tell them about Jesus' unconditional love! They need hope. Tell them about his great plans for them! They need direction. Tell them about his good, pleasing and perfect will! Now tell me, how is that irrelevant?

If you're afraid they will ridicule you upon professing your Christianity, don't be! Because the reality is: they will. It is almost a given. But, Jesus said...

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven..." Matthew 5:10-12

And if you're afraid they'll scrutinize your every move, scavaging for reason to accuse you, or keeping close watch for a mistake, don't be! If you know God, you know that he is more than able to provide you the grace to keep you from falling! Rely 110% on him to give you the ability to walk your faith out... And he will.

"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy..." Jude 1:24

The declaration of your faith is going to take it to a whole other level. It calls for an entirely new degree of commitment, strength, time in the Word & in prayer, and grace. But isn't that what you want? Don't you want to grow in him? Because I'm pretty sure it's what he wants for you! It's time to step out of your comfort zone & quit nestling in your complacency.

"At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent..." Zephaniah 1:12

Do not be ashamed. Do not be afraid. There's absolutely no reason to be, and every reason not to be.

"If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." Mark 8:38

Been there before