Saturday August 24, 2019 – Opportunity not victimhood

1 Peter 3:15  But in your hearts set apart 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. But do this with gentleness and respect,

Imagine sitting in any kind of class or gathering where the speaker/instructor belittles a particular belief.  If there is an individual in the group with that particular belief and he makes it known, the focus likely shifts to him.  Typically it probably isn’t mean spirited, but more in the category of “Oh my!  How can anyone still believe that??!!”  Laughter, polite ridicule and condescension are a powerful combination.

Unfortunately if the person proves to be resistant to the ‘accepted wisdom’ or political correctness, the speaker/instructor can manipulate the nature of the atmosphere to become more aggressive, ‘seasoned’ with anger, intimidation and biting ridicule.  In a classroom setting, a subtle intimation can be communicated that good grades are not obtained by those with such beliefs.

This phenomenon can occur over a vast range of subjects depending upon the views of the speaker and the group.  Consider some topics: abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage, voter IDs, enforcing immigration laws, government healthcare, God, Jesus, faith, evolution, the Bible, the list is long.  If we are that person and the recipient of such treatment, how we respond is critical.

Our faith identifies such situations as opportunities not victimhood.  Christ is our rock and it’s upon Him that we stand.  Sometimes we might hesitate to speak up because we don’t want to be a recipient of the verbal attack.  That might be wisdom or it might be fear of what people might think of us; or fear of persecution.  Maybe we’re just too casual with our faith and feel too inadequate to speak up, or to stand with another believer.

We have a hope that is grounded in eternal reality.  We must be prepared to express our faith in ways pleasing to God – not attacking those who oppose but sincerely allowing our light (His light within us) to shine.  We must be spiritually and prayerfully prepared to glorify our Lord when such opportunities arise.

About Don Schmidt

Beginning in the fall of 2009, Don was VP of Operations & Director of Student Life for 2 years at Williamson Christian College in Franklin, TN - a wonderful, accredited 4 year college for adult learners. That is where he started writing the devotionals. The passion of his heart is to love God and to help others learn to love God more and more. He grew up in St. Joseph, MI - Class of '66. Graduated from Michigan State in '70 and Wheaton Grad School in '78. Thunderous conversion October 11, 1968. He and Donna were engaged 2 hrs & 15 minutes after they met August 25, 1969 at a Christian camp in Georgia. They married in '70 and have 4 wonderful sons. Most of his adult career has been in business in NE Ohio. They lived for 20 years in Peninsula, OH. They attended St. Luke's Ministries (Anglican) in Copley, OH for many years. Three years ago they were reassigned by the Lord to attend River of Life Community Church in Hudson, OH. St. Luke's prayerfully sent them off on this new adventure with much love.
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