We've all heard stories of Christian persecution. Christians throughout the world are persecuted daily for taking a stand for their beliefs, especially in predominantly Muslim countries. Although it’s not as black and white as it was in the days of the early church, some still face death just for being a Christian. However Christian persecution can take many forms. Political conservatives are scorned for their pro-life stand. Those that speak out against gay marriage are considered fundamentalist fanatics, and those who have chosen to shun birth control and leave their family planning to God are seen as irresponsible.
Taking a stand for one’s beliefs never comes without consequence. Be bold in your faith. Yes, it’s unlikely that you will die for taking a stand for your Christian beliefs. Can you still be an effective witness for God’s glory without martyrdom? You bet. Most people who don’t understand or do not believe are usually the first ones to criticize. But with that criticism comes curiosity too. Someone is always watching you. That curiosity can lead to opportunities for conversation, and God can use those conversations to eventually lead nonbelievers to Christ.
Take for example the Duggar family. Many consider Michelle Duggar insane, selfish or just like I said before, irresponsible. I see Michelle Duggar as a woman that stood firm in her faith despite opposition. Despite media attention, fame, money, Michelle’s health problems and Josie’s premature birth, the Duggar family never wavered from their beliefs. It’s become a great witnessing tool. Many who have been curious or criticized their way of life have looked more deeply into why they believe as they do. Perhaps, those same people will consider Christianity for themselves as a result of the Duggars living out their faith openly and boldly.
In scripture, Peter tells those who are persecuted for their Christian beliefs not to fear, but to live so purely that those that persecuted them would be ashamed of their accusations. Boldly living out your faith despite opposition can be used as witnessing tool for God’s glory. How might God use you for His glory today?
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”–Colossians 3:23 (NIV)