If you’re like me you don’t want to offend people and you would rather not do anything than do something that would be a negative representation of Jesus to people. You go around being very careful and error on the side of waiting for the perfect opportunity versus being bold about your faith.
In reading Matthew 5 I have come to realize Jesus urges us to be different.
Jesus says we are actually blessed when: “people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” (Mt 5:11). We are urged to be “salt” , and “light” and not be hidden in versus 13-16 of Matthew 5. We are urged to be visible and evident Jesus followers.
In Deuteronomy 6 we are to talk about God’s commands to us when we sit at home, walk on the street, lying down, sitting up, as symbols on our hands, on our foreheads, on the doors of our homes and gates to our homes.
In Genesis 12:1-3 we as Abraham’s children are to go out and be a blessing to those around us. This is repeated again in Genesis 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, 28:14, Psalm 37:26, Zechariah 8:13, Acts 3:25, 2 Corinthians 2:15.
Admittedly after all these versus I am becoming more convicted that I need to be more “out there”, to come “out of the closet” and not be obnoxious but certainly be “salt and light”, and a sweet fragrance, a blessing to those around us. And not just be “a nice person” but give testimony to Jesus.
It won’t always be well received – but this is what happens when truth confronts lies or light enters the darkness.
I remember a story my father-in-law told me. He grew up on Denver, CO and had a lot of friends. But when WWII broke out many immediately turned against him because he was of Japanese descent. But some didn’t, they remained his friends and they were insulted and persecuted for this. This really stuck out to him and he always remembered them for their kindness.
I think this is what Jesus is referring to. To love and do what is right which may be unpopular and go against the tide, but will point people to him if we are open about our faith.