An unspoken rule of many barbershops and hair salons is that two topics are never to be discussed: religion and politics.
Why do we dodge these topics?
Because they create conflict, and many of us have been taught from an early age to avoid conflict. We are taught to get along, to compromise and to be careful not to bring up topics that may offend others.
When I think about brothers and sisters that I have been honored to meet around the world, I remember people who are unafraid to create conflict for the cause of Christ.
They are not looking for a fight, but they are looking to faithfully follow Jesus no matter how much it costs.
As we all know, Jesus made some very exclusive claims. If we believe what Jesus said, and if we tell others the way that He told us to…
We will create conflict.
And, we will need boldness.
And it is a type of boldness that only God can provide—a supernatural boldness!
God’s Word is clear. If we faithfully represent Christ we will generate conflict. We will “suffer” for His name’s sake. But scripture also teaches that Jesus will be with us and that He will ultimately be glorified through our suffering.
In some of the earliest stories about Jesus’ followers, we witness this type of boldness. In Acts chapter four we find two of the earliest leaders of the Church, Peter and John, making a bold stand for Jesus.
Have you ever found yourself in a spot when you knew that if you said something, or did something, you were guaranteed to create conflict? That is exactly where Peter and John found themselves in Acts chapter four.
Instead of quietly slipping away, rather than carefully avoiding the topic, John and Peter seized the opportunity to proclaim the hope that Jesus offers to all who seek Him.
They set the pace for hundreds of thousands of Christians after them who would do the same. And many are still boldly proclaiming today in the most difficult spiritual frontiers. As you get acquainted with these brothers and sisters, God will lead you to pray with them and to help serve them.
You can be an international missions worker without ever leaving your knees. I remember speaking with a strong leader from Vietnam. He said, “When you pray in America, you are working in Vietnam.”
Are we willing to boldly stand for Christ wherever He places us? Pray today that you will have the opportunity to follow the example of Peter and John, and so many others around the world, and to share God’s good news with someone in need. And remember those around the world who are bravely willing to discuss the topics that many of us were taught to avoid.
Dr. Jason Peters serves as Associate Vice President of Connection for The Voice of the Martyrs and travels frequently to meet with our persecuted sisters and brothers. He has ministered in 40 countries, as diverse as Iraq, Cuba, Nepal, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Burma, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia and Nigeria. Jason ministered as a military chaplain for more than 18 years, with assignments at the Pentagon, the US Air Force Academy and as a faculty member of the Air Force Chaplain Corps College, where he directed Crisis and Trauma training. Jason and his wife Kimberly lived overseas for several years, where two of their five children were born.