i was reading max lucado's out live your life this morning. i am already in chapter 8 and it talks about persecution. this paragraph catched my attention because i can so relate to it. i am living in a society of religious freedom where there are really no actual i-will-physically-harm-you threat for christian believers like myself but plenty of temptations and pressure to let go of my values and convictions.
max lucado said:
"or perhaps you indwell a society of religious freedom but a community of spiritual oppression. you may not face blades and terrorists but critics and accusers. family members mock your beliefs. university (or high school friends and teachers) professors belittle your convictions. classmates snicker at your choices. colleagues pressure you to compromise your integrity. coworkers make it their mission to snag you in a weak moment. knife to your neck? NO. but pressure to abandon your convictions?
his "solution" to this is very simple and a no-brainer.
"so how can we prepare ourselves? simple. imitate the disciples. linger long and often in the presence of Christ. meditate on his grace. ponder his love. memorize his words. gaze into his face. talk to him. courage comes as we live with Jesus."
oh, God please give me the strength and the grace to fight the lulling breezy winds of little compromises to my faith. the pull and pressure to succumb into the popular ideas and the "new normal" of this generation i live in which does nothing for my own desire to please you and to bring glory to your name. may you always be upper most in my heart and mind.
*special shout out to my best friend of 17 years. we've been friends that long mame =). i pray for all of God's favor and blessing for you always.