In my life I had the immense blessing of being surrounded by strong brave women. Women who have come through adversity, faced demons, stood up for people and for their beliefs when no one else would and women who have learned to love their life - no matter what life has thrown at them.
In my 'blogging through the alphabet' mini-series I wanted B to be for Brave - because it's something we all need to look at. There are many times when being brave means doing something, being something, going through something... And many times being brave means waiting - on God, on other people, on ourselves. I've a couple of examples for you today but I think I may revisit this later in the year and share some of the amazing stories of the women in my life.
So when I sat down and thought about when I need to be brave, four things came to me. Today we'll look at part one.
1. Be brave for your beliefs...
Now this one might knock off a few readers before I even start, but I truly do believe as Christians, that we need to stand up for our God, for our faith, for our moral compass and for the values we live by. I've spoken about this a little when we talked about how we need to tell the whole story - not to offend people but to tell everyone all that they need to know. When it comes to issues like whether or not you should be sued for refusing to bake a cake that goes against your beliefs, well, that's where it's extra important to stand up and be counted. In this example, a local family-run bakery refused to bake a cake that had a logo to support gay marriage on it. Why? Because they don't believe in any marriage other than the marriage defined in the Bible - between one man and one woman. And I agree with them. That's my view of marriage, that is what I believe, and regardless of who disagrees, if asked that's what I would say.
That doesn't mean I hate gay people - I don't. It's not about hating people or about persecuting them. It's about standing up for what we believe, sharing what we see as God's truth, the truth, and trying to help others understand it. I think the bakery above had served the person who ordered the cake on lots of occasions - it's not the person they were objecting to - they were only objecting to the pro-gay marriage message - in the same way that they would have objected to any other message that went against Biblical tenets.
So what about when you offend someone? Well I know it's a tricky one, since everything is SO politically correct in this day and age, but Jesus loved everyone, served everyone and died for everyone and I think we need to share that. If we offend people because we don't agree with their beliefs - tough. Yes I know that sounds hard, but if we truly believe in what we say we believe in, and we truly want to honour God with our lives, then we will let people know - regardless of whether they are offended, unfriend us or never speak to us again. That's not to say we should go about with the intention of upsetting others, but that we should stand up for God and pray that He speaks through us in difficult situations when we must stand up for Him
This is why this comes under the category of being brave. You will find people who don't want to listen, who disagree with you and who cry offence because your views don't match theirs. The liberal viewpoint seems to take the view that there is freedom of speech so long as you're worldview is like theirs - live and let live - but a person with a Biblical worldview also has the freedom to state their positions and MUST in order that we protect that right! God didn't call us to cower in fear or hide our beliefs in case we offend someone...
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7
Another example happened when I was on jury duty. While having lunch one day one of the other jurors and I were having a conversation about church, when someone else started a deliberately provocative line of questioning about our faith. I am ashamed to say that I let her - my fellow juror - a younger girl who was extremely chatty about her faith - take the lead and answer all our inquisitor's questions, while I just sat and nodded in agreement. It's not something I'm proud of. If I had it to do over again I would definitely take a different approach. But we don't get do-overs in life and I always keep that at the forefront of my mind any time I'm tempted in shy away into the background and not answer for the hope that I have in me.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to
give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for
the hope that you have...”
1 Peter 3:15
Wow - so that's part one!!! The next three points will be in tomorrow's post!!
Keep shining xx