Today's Pondering: Are You Being Bullied Out of Your Faith?

So we may boldly say:  “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?”

~Hebrews 13:6~

It isn’t always easy to know what to do these days.  What should we fight for?  What should we fight against?  Is it worth losing everything to make a point or should we just believe what we believe quietly, to ourselves and without imposing any inkling of that belief on anyone else?  If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I’ve been up against some major challenges in the area of spirituality lately.  As I’m getting more and more involved in studying the Bible and in really, truly wanting to know as much about God as I can possibly know, I’m finding that everything around me seems to be an opposing force to my acquiring and living in that knowledge.  To explain, I’m at a point in my life where I’ve had to make some big changes and most of that change has been the result of my asking God for guidance in what I should do, where I should be, and what in the world I’m here for.  Over the summer, I left my husband of ten years (eleven years technically, but who at this point is counting?), I changed jobs (actually just moved to a different building to do the same job), I started working on another degree program (in hopes of making myself finally understand something), and I went back to church (after a three-month hiatus).    I was all over the place in terms of what I thought I should be doing, where I thought I needed to be and what I thought I should be working on. 

Making others understand why I am doing the things I am doing seems to be a lot more difficult than I thought it would be.  I know that whenever I tell certain people in my life that God has led me to a certain choice, they look at me like I’ve just said I wanted to change my name to Purple Roundy.  No, folks, I’m not crazy, I’m just listening to what God is saying.  Finally, after all these years of trying to do it all by myself, I’m listening to God.  And He’s telling me that it’s time we started standing up for Him.  It’s time we stopped being afraid to show ourselves as Christians and that we step up and fight the good fight.  For example, when threatened with being fired for including a Bible quote in my e-mail footer at work, I had no choice but to take it off of the e-mail.  Was I happy with that?  No, I wasn’t.  I fought for a few weeks and ended up losing the battle.  Initially, I felt like a complete failure and like I had disappointed God because I didn’t stand up and immediately say, “I quit.”  But I thought about it for a while and realized that God would not have wanted me to behave so compulsively.  The fact that I took the time to bring the issue up to others and to hold it up as something that I didn’t agree with was a step in the right direction.  Do I believe that we need to work really hard to bring God back into our schools?  You bet.  I think the foundation our children are lacking is a foundation in God.  I believe that the more we allow politics or any other entity to drive God out of our schools, our jobs, our homes and eventually, our hearts, the more fearful we should be of God, himself.  And make no mistake, they are systematically pushing God out of our lives.  Unless those who believe refuse to let Him go, we are going to find ourselves in a terrible place. 

We talk a lot about bullying as it relates to kids at school or in our neighborhoods and it’s an outrage.  We can’t understand it and we want to fix the problem.  We rarely talk about how Christians are being bullied out of their faith every day and how, little by little, we are being asked to set aside this very important part of ourselves in order to be included in a society that has no respect for even itself.  At what point will we figure out that our love for God and our understanding of His power in our lives is much more important than which celebrity couple is breaking up?  Or what some overpaid sports star does on his day off?  When will God be in our headlines and once again allowed to take up residence in our lives and in our minds?  We need to stop putting everything else first and tell the bullies to mind their own business. 

And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

~Joshua 24:15 (New King James Version)~