Let your light shine even when someone is trying to dim it.
I was having a relatively good day. Work was going fine. We were not busy, but we were also not completely dead. I thought the day was just going to be like any other day: help customers, eat some ice cream, and chat with my coworkers for a bit. That is until my coworkers, who are both 17, started talking about their sex lives.
Now, I don’t want to judge what people talk about, but I was getting very uncomfortable, so I asked if we could talk about something else. I thought they would let it go and move on, but one of them turned on me and said, “That’s right. You’re a Christian. You don’t know anything. Get real.”
I was honestly blown away. All I could utter was “Yes, I am,” but nothing else came out.
Has something like this ever happened to you? You are just going about life, and it seems for no apparent reason you are being judged for what you believe and you don’t know how to handle the situation. Sure, people get judged all the time for what they wear or how they look, but this is deeper than just style choices. This is something that many of us are not used to and have never truly thought of what to do if it ever did happen.
As children, many of us went to church regularly, and even though sometimes we did not quite understand what was being preached, we knew that Jesus was our Savior. We—myself included—never thought of what it would be like to be called out for our faith. We knew that not everyone agreed with what we believe and might openly confront us about it. It just never hit home that it really could happen.
That type of situation may not seem like a good thing, but in reality it is a blessing from God himself. This is a chance to bring another person closer to Jesus. “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12).
When facing a situation like this, never forget that Jesus went through the same exact thing, along with his disciples. Jesus was certainly not accepted by all, and he still isn’t. Yet he always kept his head high. He continued on and tried to help all who confronted him—and all others too. Some of the disciples were stoned and put to death, yet they stuck to God and are now enjoying paradise with him.
God is always with us and will never forsake us. I now know what I should have done in that situation: Speak up and proclaim what I believe. We need to be bold in what we say and do and not think of it as a task that hurts but as an opportunity to open someone’s eyes. “However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:16).
Krystal Taylor, a junior at Lakeside Lutheran High School, Lake Mills, Wisconsin, is a member at St. John,Jefferson, Wisconsin.
A new resource for teens is now available on the WELS website. These weekly teen devotions offer God’s guidance for the unique situations teens face. Check out the devotions at wels.net/transformed.
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Author: Krystal Taylor
Volume 103, Number 4
Issue: April 2016
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