Throughout history there have been many occasions when social, cultural or governmental expectations have been at odds with the foundational biblical beliefs of a disciple of Jesus. This reality can place a believer in a challenging situation where they need to choose to either capitulate to the pressure of social (and sometimes legal) expectations, or take a stand for what they believe is right, despite the potential consequences of doing so.
Read [bible]Daniel 5:1-16[/bible];[bible]Matthew 5:13-16[/bible]
- When have you found yourself upholding a biblical principal at odds with the expectations of others? What was the outcome?
- Read Daniel 5:1-16. Daniel stood up against the law in order to fulfil his commitment to God. Place yourself in this situation, how may he have felt in doing this? What would have been his fears? What gave him this level of faith?
- “Truth without tone will not be heard.” Do you agree with this statement? Why is this the case? What can we do to share truth in a way that can be heard?
- Jesus called his followers to love people. What impact does this have upon our message? Why do we sometimes struggle to love those with whom we disagree? How can we best do this?
- Read Matthew 5:13-16. Christianity is personal but not private. What does this mean to you? What impact does your understanding of this statement have on your willingness to share the gospel with others?
- Many key aspects of the Christian faith are not politically correct today. How can we still share our faith so that the message can be heard without being offensive?
Many people with whom we connect in our day to day life will hold very different values and expectations to a believer in Jesus. Jesus’ command is to love your neighbour, which includes those with whom we disagree. Think of one way you can show love this week to someone with a different world view. Commit to seeking a better understanding of their viewpoint, and seek an opportunity to share your worldview.