I truly believe that anyone who claims to be a Christian will come across a situation(s) at some point in their lives that will test the integrity of their Christianity and faith. I’m not referring to decisions such as whether or not to attend worship services because of a slight cough and mild headache, or determining if it’s feasible to attend a social event because of the abundance of alcohol (and other such temptations) that is likely to be present; I’m referencing situations that are much more difficult. As a Christian, what do you do when your values and obedience to Christ may cause you to be ostracized by your closest kinfolk; wife, husband, mother, father, sister, brother, best friend, etc? Do you compromise your faith and relationship with God to appease people? Do you walk away from your job, career, and money when you’ve come to clearly see that your company’s code of ethics is contrary to God’s standards for righteous living? Do you attempt to justify yourself and make God’s word “fit” your response to the situation by any means necessary, or do you trust that God will sustain you despite the evil looks and unfair treatment you may get from others if you follow His will? Surely, all those who will live Godly will suffer persecution (2 Tim 3:12); for the true Christian, suffering is inevitable. In fact, according to Hebrews 5:8, even Jesus, God’s own son, learned obedience through the things He suffered. Christians, undoubtedly, will have difficult decisions to make in life; the faith that one displays during these tough times is necessary for that Christian to mature spiritually. As long as “so-called” Christians try to take the easy way out or make decisions based on how people will respond rather than base their thoughts, speech, and actions on what God has revealed through His word, they can’t expect to receive much in return from God. “So that God would get the glory,” should be the motto and motive driving the lives of Christians; aiming to please people or validate oneself will ultimately cause one to be excluded from the presence of God when all is said and done!

MD 6/11/12