I honestly hadn’t even considered that I had it until the moment before I began to type. I haven’t written in a while, not that you’ve been hanging on the edge of your seat waiting for my next article, but still. It isn’t that I haven’t had ideas or even had some very inspiring moments where I thought, “I need to write an article about this!” But I haven’t taken the time to do it. Perhaps it’s because of the health issues we’ve had with one of my daughters, maybe it’s because I have a four-month-old baby that ceases to believe he is loved when I put him down, or maybe it’s because I’m a coward—afraid to share my opinions, or worse, the things I believe to be completely true because I’m worried it might offend someone.
If you’re on social media, watch the news, or even watch videos on YouTube you are probably aware of the fact that people can be harsh, cruel, and downright mean. It doesn’t matter what is posted online, there are “so-called” Christians standing by eager and ready to stone you for the slightest hint of blaspheming… not for blaspheming God, but for blaspheming their opinions. We live in a day where your opinion is god and woe to any who dare to disagree with you. People will stone and condemn a writer, speaker, or singer based on the title of their article/song/talk alone! They won’t even read it before they pronounce their judgment of doom on this false teacher. No one is safe from their stone-slinging. Alas, this article isn’t about them.
This article is for the writers, the teachers, the preachers, the songwriters, and everyone else who is using their words to help people love and understand God’s Word(s) and to encourage and equip them in their pursuit of Him and His will. We have a choice. We can choose to write even when it feels safer not to. We can choose to speak the truth in love when we would far rather be quiet to avoid ruffling anyone’s feathers. Speaking of feathers, fear, and courage…
For those of you who didn’t know, we have backyard chickens. Two of them happen to be roosters and one of those roosters happens to be aggressive. For the most part, the responsibility of tending to the chickens goes to my oldest daughters. My eldest is having some health issues at the moment, which means my second oldest has had to shoulder the responsibility. The tasks are not difficult but the rooster is intimidating and literally threatening, and the woods behind our house (in my daughter’s eyes) are dark and foreboding at night. So, when she has to go lock up the chickens at night, she always pleads the same question, “Will you watch me?” She will muster up her courage to go shut and lock the door of the chicken coop as long as she knows I am watching from the kitchen window. The other day when she came back inside I told her, “Corabell, if you ever learn that God is always watching over you. You will be so brave!”
What about us? Don’t we know that God is always watching over us? Don’t we know that the metaphorical aggressive chickens we come across can hurt our feelings or even our bodies, but that they could never ever touch our soul; we are safe in the Father’s hands! Don’t we know that even if our worst nightmare comes out of the dark woods in our life that we still have a joy-filled and peaceful eternity ever after in the presence of our living God? Don’t I know this? Then why do I let my fear keep me quiet? Why do you? Who do we answer to? We certainly don’t answer to emotionally unstable poultry. We answer to God Almighty, the King of all kings, and Lord of all lords. Perhaps the next time you’re feeling discouraged, and dare I say it, outright cowardly, we will remind ourselves who it is we work for and who it is we answer to.
“Who then will harm you if you are devoted to what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be intimidated, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Yet do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.” – 1 Peter 3:13-17, CSB
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