It was a beautiful morning, so I decided to completely ruin it by going for a run.
As usually happens while passing a particular house, a dog ran out at me. I don’t know what kind it was, it looked like a Rottweiler kind of thing, maybe a German Shepherd. Might have just been a mutt that looked like one of those.
It was growling and charging hard. I have experience with such situations and have learned that the best thing is to stop running and let em come. If you keep running it gears them up to chase and bite.
However, it requires a certain amount of courage to stop as a growling dog charges you. But it worked once again, the dog ran around me and then back home since I was no fun anymore.
The Bible talks about the armor of God and how we stand. We aren’t told to charge or go on the offensive. We’re told to stand.
“You need to stand up for what you believe” is a commonly said phrase. There is a time and place. When you are being attacked, when you are being challenged to stop doing what you know is right, you stand firm and do the right thing.
However, most people assume the phrase “stand up for what you believe” means we are to constantly bring up our opinions all the time and make sure we “put some truth” out there.
It’s more in your face, more of a challenge. More of a “so take that.”
That aint right. We are to firmly believe things, and when pressed we are to continue to persevere in believing and defending those things.
We are not, however, told to attack others with our precious beliefs. Romans 14 is a great passage. One of my favorite bits is “Hast though faith? Have it to yourself before God.” Amen!
Don’t flaunt your beliefs. Especially don’t do this when you know it will just tick people off. As Paul said when he was with those without law, he was as one without law. With those under law, he was as one under the law.
Paul believed definite things, but he also knew when to not make his beliefs a deal. He was more concerned about the salvation of others than he was with feeling like a Big Man because he stuck his beliefs in front of everyone’s face.
Too many Christians have ignored this. We’re known for being jerks. For always having to put our beliefs out there in the most confrontational, arrogant way possible.
Jesus rarely attacked people, usually His “attacks” came in response to someone else attacking Him first. When attacked: He stood. When Paul was attacked; he stood.
In the end, most people need to chill. Do the right thing. Know when to open your mouth. As the great theologian Kenny Rogers said, “Know when to hold em and know when to fold em.” Amen.