The Righteous Warrior – …and Keeping It Up
Key Bible Verse: Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust the Lord means safety. – Proverbs 29:25
Bonus Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-17
[continued from yesterday] The teachers lounge became a hostile place for weeks. Someone would begin a sentence, stop, look sidewise at me, and say, “I guess I shouldn’t say anything; spiritual Mr. Ingram is here.”
My colleagues seemed to turn on me. When approached alone, these teachers knew they had been way out of line. They had agreed privately. But because of the way they’d responded to me publicly—with criticism, ridicule, and rejection—I lowered my flag and fled. I stopped going to the teachers lounge.
But I began to realize that the biblical challenge to be salt and light comes with no assurances like “Be salt because the world will enjoy the way you taste,” or “Be light because people will immediately thank you for pointing out their sin.” Jesus’ words, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33), suddenly had a personal ring.
So what if they don’t like me, I thought. I can’t control that. But they do need to respect me. After ten days of avoiding the teacher’s lounge, I decided to return and live with the ridicule and criticism so that there’d be a believing teacher in that school.
I went back. I didn’t have to flap the flag of my faith in their faces, but people knew I had boundaries.
—Chip Ingram in Holy Ambition
My Response: When have I sensed profound respect behind surface ridicule?
Thought to Apply: When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.—Billy Graham
Adapted from Holy Ambition (Moody, 2002)