Making Your Case

For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes – Acts 24:5

The apostle Paul was accused of being a troublemaker, instigating riots among the Jews, profaning the temple and his accusers wanted him to be judged by their law.  Paul, of course, denied their charges.

When you share your faith, do some people accuse you of causing trouble?  Are you accused of being intolerant or narrow minded when you share some Bible truths?  Do your friends accuse you of putting a damper on their fun–cramping their style?  Do they avoid you because they don’t want to hear anymore talk about religion?

Years ago, employee at a large company sent out an email asking co-workers no to take the Lord’s name in vain.  She had grown tired of hearing them profane His name and decided to address it in an email.  Of course, some of the co-workers were not at all happy and complained to her boss.  He called her into his office and told her that she could get reported to HR.  It didn’t reach that point but she knew that if she did something like that again, she would be in trouble for sure.  People didn’t like to hear what she had to say.  It touched a lot of nerves.  She went home angry and upset that night because her co-workers had complained about her and nearly got her in trouble. However, the Lord advised her, “Repay no one evil for evil.”  The feelings of anger and resentment went away.  She interacted with her co-workers as she had always done in the past.

Like Paul, she had done nothing wrong.  The men didn’t like what Paul was preaching and they wanted to make trouble for him.  In his defense, Paul said, “In this do I always strive to have a clear conscience toward God and toward men.”  The employee had a clear conscience.  She had done what she believed to be right.

What will you do when someone opposes what you stand for?  Do you keep silent for the sake of peace or speak up?  Paul was falsely accused because he was testifying about Jesus.  Jesus warned believers that, “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sakefor a testimony to them” (Mark 13:9)  And He also said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake” (Matthew 5:11).

If the Holy Spirit impresses you to speak or to act, do so and leave the consequences to God.

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