Prior to my teen years, I didn’t care if anyone knew or not, but then…
I became a Christian at nine years of age, and prior to becoming a teenager wasn’t ashamed of it. Many of my friends were too, and if they weren’t they didn’t care if I was. But adolescence altered my thinking and their perception. Hippie living was in; Jesus following wasn’t. I wasn’t in to being labeled a “Jesus freak,” so I joined the ranks of his secret disciples. I didn’t tell anyone unless they asked-and the way I was behaving that didn’t happen very often.
Joseph tried being a secret disciple too. Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body (John 19:38 NLT). He feared openly identifying with Jesus because of his position in Jewish religious life. It wasn’t until after Jesus died that he decided to step out of the closet.
Fear kept this influential man and me in the closet. I feared rejection from friends and peers. What would they say if they knew I was a Christian? Would they laugh at me, avoid me, fight me? Would my college professors lower my grades if I revealed my philosophies? And what about my employer? Would she hold back promotions and raises? Or even terminate me?
I feared what everyone else thought until Jesus’ words finally sunk in: If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person (Luke 9:26 NLT). Faith eventually won out over fear.
Does fear prevent you from revealing to others your true identity? God enabled me to overcome my spirit of fear and he can help you as well.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, as You boldly identified with Your Father, may we daringly identify ourselves as one of Your disciples.
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