Unmoved But Not Unloving
There is a fine line between a firm stand for Christ and a harsh unloving attitude. This is a very difficult lesson of spiritual maturity. We need to be firmly committed to Christ; however, if we are unloving, we have failed in this area. The best example is Christ whose love for others was evident during His crucifixion.
“I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, for I delight in your commands because I love them.” (Psa. 119:46-47, NIV)
The psalmist is unashamed of his faith. He was willing to stand before a powerful monarch, who with one word could have ended his life. This type of dedication is an essential element of our Christian walk. Like the psalmist, we must be willing to share our faith with anyone without shame or compromise.
“If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26, NIV)
During the first century, the early church had many martyrs who made a stand for Christ at the expense of his or her life. During this time, there was also zealot Christians, who with their faith would challenge the Roman government. Like the martyrs, they also died violently. The early church considered the martyrs to be heroes and thought those who sought persecution unwise.
We must consider our actions carefully. We know that the unsaved world hates Christian warriors. We need to stand firm when we face persecution. Moreover, we need to remember to love others when we are in these situations. If we are properly trained, we will meet Jesus description that we are gentle and wise.
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matt. 10:16, NIV)
Is this possible? We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we will have the best response for every moment. Further, we need to be fully equipped in our understanding of the Bible so that our actions are always appropriate. Next, we also need to recognize this as a step of maturity. In my opinion, this is an acquired skill like riding a bicycle. We may crash into the neighbor’s hedge a few times as we master this!
Father, please help us to love others as You love us. As we share Your love with others, may we stand steadfast in proclaiming Your mighty name as Savior. In Your name we pray. Amen!