November 21, 2013

Stand Up For Jesus (even in the "small" things)

Have you ever gotten that feeling in the pit of your stomach that you needed to take a stand for Jesus? I have. Usually that physical discomfort points to the sweet conviction of the Holy Spirit.

Who do I call it a "sweet" conviction? Well, because I'm not talking about something drastic here...I'm taking about the SUDs. In the counseling world, SUDs are seemingly unimportant decisions. I'm talking about the normal, the mundane, the daily - heck, the hourly! - opportunities we have to share Christ in small, often subtle ways.

This morning, I had one of these SUDs-type opportunities.

I was at an all-day training for work at an office in another town today (for which I wasn't necessarily REJOICING to be at in the first place!). Not too long after I'd settled into my chair, gotten comfy, and taken my first sip of break-room coffee, the trainer began asking us questions. One of the first questions asked of us was, "Who/What is the most important person/thing to you?" 

As the question made it's way around the room, answers like "my husband," "my girlfriend," "my kids," etc. sprang forth from each person asked. I knew that "my faith" was what should come out of my mouth. But I sat there ruminating on the repercussions of my potential answer as the question filtered through the masses.

All of a sudden, the temptation came into my head just to stick to the status quo. Just to say "my husband" and be done with it. That's when the stomach wars (A.K.A. a gut-churning good time!) began.

Now, I know you've been there. All of a sudden, you're having a conversation with yourself in your head that sounds something like this:

     Self 1: "Say 'faith.' "
     
     Self 2: "No!  I'll say 'husband.' "

     Self 1: "NO! Jesus is your everything...why should you say 
     He isn't?"
     
     Self 2: "But nobody knows me here.  It won't matter."

     Self 1: "But Jesus will know that you denied Him. Do you 
     really wanna' be like Peter right now?"
     
     Self 2: "Of course not, but if I say 'my faith,' I'll stick out. 
     I'll be different. I'll be the 'faith' girl."

     Self 1: "Like that's different that any other day on the job.  
     Most everyone at the main office knows you're a believer. 
     'Faith' is so generic anyway. It's not even a big deal...except 
     that it WILL be if you DENY that your faith in Christ is the
     most important thing to you!"
     
     Self 2: "But NO ONE else has said anything outside of 
     family. I don't wanna' open a can of worms."
     
     Self 1: "Jesus IS your family! And He has the power to 
     open a can of something else right now if you don't say 
     what you KNOW you SHOULD!"

You get the idea.

So when I was finally asked what the most important person/thing to me was, I stood up for Jesus today in the SMALLEST of ways. I chose to say 'my faith.'

Did everyone turn and gawk at me? No.

Did the trainer even bat an eye? No.

On the other hand...

Did a glowing halo float down from the heavenlies and land on my head? And did Jesus Himself shine a light out of heaven onto said halo and say in His best Morgan Freeman voice, "Well done, Thy good and faithful servant"?

Um...seriously?  Of course not.

But the gnawing in the pit of my stomach did subside.  And I knew I had obeyed the tug of the Spirit and stood up for Jesus in a "seemingly" unimportant and small moment.

Now, I'm not looking for praise here. This was a ridiculously tiny step of obedience. But as we make those "tiny" choices to stand up for Jesus, bigger and bigger choices are presented to us.  

My point? Don't gloss over the small things. The principle of "being faithful with little" leading to "being faithful with much" is a biblical one (see Luke 16:10). And don't think for a second that you'll one day be able to just "automatically surrender" to a big thing like foreign missions or martyrdom if you can't surrender to the little things in the here and now.

May we all be found faithful in the "small."

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