“Confidence is not ‘they will like me’. Confidence is ‘I’ll be fine if they don’t’.” ~ Unknown
Too many people, it seems, are not very confident when it comes to matters of living out the faith. Perhaps it is because we depend too much upon the positive feedback of those around us. If we try to live the faith and our family, friends, or coworkers tease, ridicule, or reject us for doing so, there is a good chance that we will quit doing or saying whatever it was we were doing or saying.
Doing so does not reflect much confidence in the Lord. It was the Lord who reminded us, more than once, that if we embraced His words and His way of life, we would be separated from some people in this world, perhaps even people for whom we truly care. “Father will be divided against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (Lk 12:53)
When we embrace God, we immediately become counter-cultural. We go against all that the world teaches: greed, avarice, lust, sensuality, envy, and a whole host of other ills that the world proclaims as positive and normative.
Christians, on the other hand, proclaim as positive and normative love, mercy, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. There are those in the world who would try to use those against us because they are not in touch with the Lord. If we live our lives according to the commandments of God, we will be all right and we can live with confidence.
If we live our lives as we ought, we might make some enemies. There might be those who do not like us or who reject us. But there will be others whose lives we will be able to touch in such a way as to open them up to the great love of God. They will be able to find their own way to the Lord through our example. That is what our lives are supposed to be all about.
In the final analysis, we should not be concerned about pleasing the world. We need to be concerned about serving our God. There are too many who allow the world to sway them and pull them away from their commitment to the Lord. By our own witness, we have the opportunity to bring them back to the Lord and show the world that there is a better way.
Do all that you can to keep the world from influencing you and causing you to sway from your commitment to the Lord. Instead, be the counter-cultural person that all Christians are called to be and see how many people in the world you might be able to win over by your words and deeds today.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God to give you the courage that you need to set a good example for those who have given themselves over to the world.