Taking a Stand When You Would Rather Take a Seat
Bible Reading: Matthew 5:10-12
God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God. Matthew 5:10
When Jamie’s Sunday school teacher asked who was sure they would go to heaven-and why—Jamie shot up her hand.
Jamie thought it was a simple question. In a few sentences she explained how Christ had died for her sins and that through faith she had trusted him and begun a forever friendship with God.
When Jamie finished talking, she glanced around. The rest of the class stared at her. Their jaws dropped. They were shocked that she had willingly answered the teacher’s important spiritual question.
Suddenly Jamie felt like the only kid in her Sunday school class willing to be known as a Christian. Her face flushed with embarrassment. When her teacher thanked her for the great answer, Jamie’s red cheeks looked ready to burst.
If you jumped up on a lunch table at a public school and started to preach while your classmates ate, you could predict you would get laughed at—and chased down by a lunch monitor. Yet sometimes even Christians will give you the evil eye for doing the right thing. Anyone willing to stand up and be counted as a Christian sooner or later will be persecuted-treated badly for his or her beliefs.
But God has an unusual response for you to try the next time you get mocked for being a Christian. He wants you to throw a party! How come? You’re blessed.
That word blessed, believe it or not, actually means to be happy.
How strange is that? Being happy for being made fun of-or worse? What sort of weirdo likes to be embarrassed?
But Jesus says we can feel honored if we suffer for him.
When we stand up for God and what’s right, we’ll get the support of most Christians and even gain the respect of some non-Christians. On the other hand, being blessed won’t automatically make life easy. People watch us. Some tease. Others pick us apart if we do the least little thing wrong.
If it comes down to winning a popularity contest or winning the pleasure of Jesus, shoot for pleasing Jesus every time. Sometimes doing the right thing hurts. But be encouraged. If friends reject you because you take a stand, it’s not really you they’re rejecting. It’s Christ.
TALK: Have you ever been made fun of or left out for something you said or did because you were following Jesus? How did God, your family, and good Christian friends help you deal with it?
PRAY: God, we want to stand up for you. But we need your wisdom to know when and how to do that best. We want you to teach us!
ACT: Take a chance today: Speak up when your beliefs as a Christian give you something worth saying.