In our world of noise and confusion, it is often considered taboo to talk about Christ or religion. People can talk about others being murdered or killed, but not about the One who overcame death. People can talk about going out on the town, drinking at bars, but not about people going to church to worship God on Sundays. People can talk about divorces and shattered families, but not about eternal families made possible through God’s holy temples here on earth.
Are we afraid to talk of Christ?
What noise are we contributing to today’s over-opinionated society? Are we also avoiding talking about the One who saves? Are we also jumping on the bandwagon of talking about only the bad things in the world? Are we shallow in our conversations? Or are we speaking with the tongue of angels, speaking the words of Christ, speaking with the Spirit of God?
Maybe we don’t want people to view us as Jesus freaks, Goody-two-Shoes, religious zealots, or backward weirdos? But, aren’t we supposed to be peculiar? Aren’t we supposed to stand out from non-believers? And not just because we do things differently, but because we believe differently? Because we have the Holy Ghost as our constant companion, because we speak with the tongue of angels. So maybe, we need to stop thinking about being odd or offending people.
Look, I know it is easy to just keep to surface topics when talking to people. I know the world is full of diverse people, who all come from various backgrounds, experiences, cultures, and beliefs. And we don’t want to step on toes. We don’t want to make enemies. We want to stay in the comfortable place known as common ground. We don’t want to challenge the way our friends and neighbors live, where or what they worship, or if they are doing enough in their walk with Christ. But, as true disciples of Christ we aren’t meant to walk the middle ground. We are supposed to ruffle some feathers.
Jesus Christ himself said:
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. – Matthew 10:32-39 KJV
Are we hypocrites?
There have been cases where people of faith have felt that by affirming their full faith, they might be calling upon themselves the ridicule of their unbelieving colleagues, and that because of that they must either modify or explain away their faith, or destructively dilute it, or even pretend to cast it away. Such are hypocrites. (source)
I don’t want to be a hypocrite. Jesus wasn’t too keen of them, and I certainly want Jesus on my side, and for him to confess me before the Father.
I know that I am not speaking enough about Jesus Christ. Outside of church and my home, I don’t really mention things like prayer, faith, hope, church, scriptures, or Jesus Christ. I don’t tell people “God bless” or “Thank God for you” or even “I’ll be praying for you” very often (because unfortunately, I know I will forget to say a prayer for them). I occasionally declare statements of my belief online after a spiritually rousing church meeting, event, or family lesson.
It’s interesting, because the people I look up to most as Christians are those who do wear their faith on their sleeves, who write awesome Christian blogs, who support great causes, who have this sense of purpose, humility, devotion, and dedication to all things related to their faith in Jesus Christ. They really do seem to love God more than man, esteem, beauty, or wealth. They are amazing. And I want to be like them. But, it’s hard.
But, I believe I can change for the better. I know it just means I need to be courageous. I need to not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I need to speak boldly (at least it will seem bold for me!) on behalf of truth, light, hope, charity, faith, repentance, baptism, and forgiveness. I need to speak boldly on behalf on Jesus Christ. I need to confess Jesus before all men.
As President Thomas S. Monson has said,
Let us—all of us—have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval.”
Are we fighting against evil?
The world is full of filth and Satan is definitely running the world. Are we fighting against him, or just silently putting up with the sin that has become rampant? Are we taking our baptismal and temple (for my LDS readers) covenants seriously? Are we courageous? Are we seeing the smile of God’s approval?
I know I haven’t been. And I see it in myself. I’m not judging you, because I don’t know you. But, I suspect we can all do better. And that we need to do better. I’m trying to repent. I’m trying to improve myself. And improving myself in all things spiritual is a top concern and priority for me. I don’t like feeling complacent in my testimony of Jesus Christ and of His restored church. I don’t like feeling like a hypocrite. Not at all.
I am not great at a lot of things spiritual. I have a hard time recognizing the Holy Ghost. I have a hard time praying often, and saying meaningful prayers. I have a hard time humbling myself. I have a hard time sharing my testimony and reading my scriptures consistently, and really feasting upon the Word.
But, I desire better for myself because I have covenanted to do better. I want to speak the words of Christ! I don’t want to be living below my privileges as a follower of Christ. I don’t want to let down my Heavenly Father who has given me everything I have. I don’t want to hide my light, my faith, under a bushel.
President Thomas S. Monson said:
“My beloved brethren [and sisters], with the courage of our convictions, may we declare, with the Apostle Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.”11 And then, with that same courage, may we follow Paul’s counsel: “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”12
The Bold Christian Challenge
Each day of this challenge you will receive an email that will challenge you to do something to be an example of the Believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. It is my hope that as you do these sometimes very simple things, that you will find it become easier to talk of Christ. That it will become easier for you to think about sharing the Gospel, for thinking about ways to serve, about simple things you can do to let others know that there is a bigger purpose to our lives!
If you want to be a part of this exciting challenge, all you have to do is sign up for the mailing list!
And then be sure to ask to join the 15 Day #BoldChristian Challenge Group on Facebook!
May we all feast upon the words of Christ so that we can more easily and readily speak the words of Christ in our homes and our communities and even in this Church. May we hunger and thirst for his living word, for truth, for light, for knowledge. Because now is the time to be bold and declare the good news of Jesus Christ. He is coming again. And it will be a glorious day. Let us help others taste of the goodness, mercy, and truth that we taste daily in our lives by being bold, by having courage.
Let us “Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them.” As Elder Holland has said.
And if you are a blogger, click HERE to learn how you can help encourage others to join this challenge too.