My pastor preached a thought provoking message this morning about denying Christ. The Bible clearly warns us against doing this. [bible]Matthew 10:33[/bible] Usually, when we think about denying Christ we may envision someone pointing a gun at us and telling us to deny Christ or else. We may see ourselves narrowing our eyes at the speaker and boldly declaring, "Never!" The gun goes off, we stand there unharmed and our persecutors either flee in terror or fall to their knees begging us to tell them what they must do to be saved.
Okay, we may not exactly romanticize it like that (or maybe we do) but it is easy to feel brave and bold when you are not actually experiencing a situation. This sort of persecution is a reality for many, many of our dear brothers and sisters around the world. Let us not forget them! However, my pastor and I both agree that if we are not careful, we will find ourselves denying Christ even if we're not facing physical persecution. In fact, I would even suggest that the more subtle it is, the more likely we are to fall into this trap.
Are we guilty of denying Christ? What happens if a neighbor asks us if we're a Christian. Do we share what Christ has done for us or do we side-step the question? Do we mumble that we go to church sometimes? Do we say things like I go to church because that's what my spouse is really into or it makes me look good? Do we put a stamp of approval on inappropriate jokes or comments by laughing at them because everyone else does? Do we tell ourselves I have to live or work with these people and I can't offend them? What about offending Christ? Do our actions minimize our testimony regarding the power of God in our lives? Would anyone who is not a part of the body of Christ actually believe that we are a follower of Christ? I think these are questions worth asking ourselves daily.
May we examine our thoughts, words and actions daily so that all who see us will know we are a Christ-Followers and princes and princesses of the King!