For the first time ever I had someone slam Christians to my ear (conference call) while "at work". I have other friends who have slammed them on Facebook or elsewhere, but never during work was I subject to it, and never in a conversation to which I was party.
I'd like to say that I did the right thing, that I stood up for Christians and Christianity, or that I calmly acted like I should. To be honest, I don't know what the right thing was. I can tell you in that moment, I felt as if I had been sucker punched. I felt angry, enough that my head started pounding and so did my heart. They weren't criticizing me, but just slammed them in general. This person, who I really like and get on with just fine, knows I am a Christian and we have discussed briefly my beliefs.
No, I didn't yell; I didn't have a witty comeback. I didn't slam down the phone. I took a deep breath, and in the instant I should have prayed, I didn't. I just calmly asked if we were done with the purpose for which I called in on the conference call. I said, "Are we done talking about the system? If so, and we are going to talk about politics, I am going to go ahead and go and take care of the boys." A hurried apology and back to the subject for four more minutes was the reply I received, then we all hung up.
So yet again, I'm not sure what my reaction should have been. Has Christ measured me and found me wanting in my behavior? I just don't know. I felt as if it would have gotten me nowhere to defend Christians, because in this instance, I'm not sure the behavior and attitudes that were being criticized were Christian-like. I did not know these people, I don't know how they act(ed). If I had defended them but they were in the wrong, would that hurt God's kingdom more than my silence?
I guess I will never know the answer to that. I can only pray for wisdom as these instances will be coming more and more as time passes. I know this is something so small in the scheme of things, but it was my first test. There will be many more.
I want so much to be that person or part of a group of people that cause unbelievers to WANT to be a Christ follower, rather than one who causes them to make disparaging remarks. My heart is broken for those who do not know Christ and have such contempt for Christianity that their eyes, ears, hearts, and minds are closed to the beauty of Christ. Pray that I will stay steadfast in His will and will have the courage and discernment to do and say what glorifies Him.
1 Peter 5
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.