Now there is such a thing as persecution, there truly is. But let’s make for darn sure if we are being persecuted that what we are being persecuted for is for righteousness' sake and not because we are self-centered, self-promoting, self-aggrandizing jerks.
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52)
“When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)
We must always ask ourselves, is what we are standing up for, is it for self, or is it for God’s glory and the good of all peoples? If it is for self, then we must crush it, get rid of it, stop it — Because friends, fellow Christ-followers, we have already been called to die to ourselves. And to live with truth and love for the good of others; being centered on God, His promotion, His glory, and His mission. Even being willing to lay down our lives for our enemies, that they too, may find favor with God through the gospel, thus becoming our friend and brother. Reconciliation is no small thing. It's at the heart of what the gospel does. In essence, it's the goal.
It's why God sent His son! "to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross." is what Colossian 1:20 says.
So, if we are one of Christ'? If we have been adopted into God's family through Him and are no longer representing ourselves but representing Him, then we must ask ourselves some questions. Especially in regards to what we are taking stances on.
I mean the Bible does tell us to take a stance. Ephesians 6:13 says, "having done all, to stand firm."
But the question is, is what you are standing up for truly a gospel issue? Is it worth being a stumbling block over? In essence, is it worth sending people to hell over? Now, I know no person has the ability to send anyone to hell or to save anyone. God is sovereign and He is ultimately the one who saves or damns.
But still, we must ask ourselves, what is our motive? We must ask ourselves as human conduits, what are we being used for? What is flowing through us? Is it gospel promoting or is it gospel hindering? Are the actions, thoughts, and trajectory of our lives moving towards shining a light on God, so as we are in some way assisting others in seeing how good He truly is? Or are the actions, thoughts, and trajectory of ours lives, as it were, clouding who God is and what He is doing in the world?
It's often a mixed bag, I know. For the true saint, it is a daily war against the flesh. But that's the thing, is the war going on? What is your heart's cry? Because I can tell you this. If you name the name of Christ ---- you are a witness. You do testify of who He is. The only thing is, are you a good witness or bad? Yes, I know, not perfect. That doesn't happen until Christ returns, but rather what is the overall aspect of your life testifying to about God!?!
Oh, my friends, let's be for God's glory and the good of others, not self, even in these hard tumultuous times we find ourselves in!
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
“Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” (2 Timothy 2:10)
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)