“Oh, how great peace and quietness would he possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all his confidence in God.” – Thomas a’ Kempis
In some countries, Christians must be careful about sharing their faith with people they don’t know, and they often bond with other Christians and meet together secretly. Their lives may depend on staying under cover.
For most of us, though, we’re not in danger if we talk about God or claim to be a follower of Jesus. But still, many of us tend to keep our faith under wraps.
The Gospel of John tells us many Jews believed in Jesus after witnessing the raising of Lazarus. But they believed secretly because they were afraid they would be ostracized by the religious establishment. John saw through their motivation for secrecy. He said, “They loved human praise more than praise from God.” (John 12:43)
John’s implication is we can either please other humans or we can please God, and very often we can’t do both. Sometimes we have to be willing to be criticized or ridiculed if we’re going to be bold in living out our Christian faith.
Maybe we need to be more honest about who we are, more comfortable with letting our faith in Christ show, and more willing to speak the truth. Sometimes that may bring a negative response, but, if we share of ourselves with quiet confidence and grace, God will be pleased. Who do we want to please the most?
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” – 1 Peter 3:15b-16