Most of the major revivals in American history have been during times of great uncertainty, civil unrest, war, and when morality had been thrown out the window. Do you know through all church history it has been the brave and willing-to-face-danger Christians who followed Jesus, no matter the cost, that have been the ones that changed history, the ones we read about today.
“Why aren’t you a nice Christian?” What exactly is this question except an accusation sent to shame a Christian into a different behavior. Shame is a tool of the devil. The world dictates what “nice” should look like: meek and mild and loving. And these sound like the words of Jesus—they are, but if they are used out of context, they are tools to manipulate.
Meekness is wrongly portrayed as quiet and nice, those who “don’t upset the apple cart.” This wrong idea of meek and mild has sat too many Christians down in the corner in purposeless silence. Meek means strength in control, our own strength subdued and surrendered to God, and then our learning to exercise His power in demonstration of His kingdom. The meek Christian is filled with God’s strength to achieve God’s purposes, fully. The Christian who is truly meek will equally display a humility, governed by the peace of God, and as well, can become angry or stir up conflict for the right reasons; Jesus did this. There are times when the righteous anger of God will be displayed, to deny this is to deny our biblical history.
Being “loving” isn’t avoiding conflict. True love is being willing to bring truth even though conflict may arise, because without truth a person cannot be free. The avoidance of conflict, which requires the avoidance of truth, leaves a person in bondage. Leaving a person in bondage is not loving, it Christian cowardice. The caveat here, we don’t go around brandishing a sword of truth everywhere, just because we can. Instead, we live obedient to Holy Spirit in everything we do and say, faithful to do everything God is asking. Then, because we are in obedience, we are grace enabled/empowered to do all His will.
Christianity is not safe and nice, it’s brave and willing!