Debunking the world's lies about true safetyBy Harry Jarrett
We all want to feel safe. God wants us to feel safe too. Unfortunately, the world tells us two lies about our safety that makes feeling safe difficult.
First, the world says you need stability to be safe. It defines that as things such as having a stable job, owning not renting a home and being married not single.
Second, the world tells you that it is safer to keep your faith to yourself.
Neither of these two things is true. Instead, the truth is that you need to be devoted and consecrated to God to be safe and stable. And because this doesn’t make sense to the majority of people it means you will never be seen as stable or safe in the world’s eyes. So get used to it.
But many of us have not “gotten used” to that idea; it makes us uneasy. Some of us have decided that we will be safer if we don’t share our faith with others as we journey with them through life. Some of us want to be “respectful” of others beliefs, which correlates to being “tolerantly silent.” And those sound reasonable, maybe even Christian. But hiding our devotion to God is never a good idea, and it never keeps any of us safer. It actually places us and the world at risk.
Consider these texts…
Rom. 10: 11-17: Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.” But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it? That’s why Scripture exclaims, “A sight to take your breath away! Grand processions of people telling all the good things of God!” (The Message)
Matt. 10:32-33: “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.”
Make no mistake. Our silence about the reason we have hope is bad for us and others. It places us and others at risk eternally. To truly be “respectful” of others we need to care about them enough to be open and honest with them about the reason we have hope and feel safe and how they too can have hope and feel safe. And of course we need to do that in gentle ways. As Peter tells us…
“Your heart should be holy and set apart for the Lord God. Always be ready to tell everyone who asks you why you believe as you do. Be gentle as you speak and show respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
Harry Jarrett is lead pastor of Neffsville Mennonite Church in Lancaster, Pa. He writes at http://harryjarrett.net/, where this blog post originally appeared.
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