Friday, September 24, 2010

Don't be Ashamed

{Philippians 1:20; NLT}
For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die.

There is a great responsibility that goes along with declaring we are Followers of Christ. It puts us under the microscope and either validates or refutes the message we love we have received for God. For this reason it is very important that we are concerned about how we live.

We have to be concerned about how other people see us, the message we giving through the way we live. Other people’s perceptions of us matter. Sure we cannot ultimately control how other people view us, but there are steps we can take to put our best foot forward.

First we have to be concerned about not doing anything that causes us shame. The Apostle Paul was con-cerned about this. He was public figure and people knew what he stood for, and so Paul wanted to make sure he didn’t anything that would cause him shame and lose the respect of other people. We need to be conscious about the words we use and the things we do. Remember we might not think doing this or that is a big deal, but by our participation it might cause others to lose respect for us.

Second we have to have standards in our lives. If we don’t have standards in our lives then we will find ourselves in a position where we get caught up in the moment and we simply go along with the crowd. Often times the people others respect are those that stand by their convictions rather than going along with the crowd. It is easy to go along with the crowd, it is another thing to stand and do the right thing.

Third we need to be bold. Courage is essential if we are going to stand apart for the crowd. It isn‚Äôt easy being different because you feel so alone and vulnerable, and so there is a great temptation in giving in to the crowd, but respect doesn’t necessarily come by being like everyone else, but often times it comes from having the courage to be different. Why? I believe that it is because many people want to be different, but they don’t have the courage to separate themselves from the crowd. You are respected because you are doing what they want to do.

Being respected is very important if we are going to make an impact this world. When we are respected by others then they will listen to what we have to say and follow where we lead. Respect is a precious com-modity, are you making sure you are holding on to yours?

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