The second way we are able to stand for truth is to live it.
There is a tragic inconsistency between what some believers say, and how they live. No matter who you are hypocrisy is not a flattering fragrance. Time and time again we have seen the aftereffects of hypocrisy, of individuals projecting a certain image to the world at large, while in their private lives living something wholly contradictory to that which they were proclaiming. Without fail, such individuals, once their sins and inconsistencies were made public, have brought shame to the house of God, enabling the world to point the finger at the household of faith and declaring ‘you’re all alike.’
Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
It is sad that many today do not view this verse as the command it was intended to be. Some consider it a suggestion, others a good guideline, not realizing that we must be ever vigilant and ever watchful in keeping our hearts, because out of it spring the issues of life. The enemy tempts, and attempts to ensnare so that after he has thoroughly ensnared an individual he can expose them, bring them to open shame, and by doing this likewise bring shame to the house of God.
‘It’s my life, I can do with it as I please, and I’m not hurting anyone.’
But if you came to Christ, it is no longer your life, it is His life, and you can no longer do with it as you please, because you must do with it as He pleases, and if you choose sin and rebellion, if you choose to return to the mire you were once saved from, don’t for one second think that you’re not hurting anyone. Not only are you hurting yourself, your loved ones, but you are also wounding the body of Christ, crucifying again for yourself the Son of God, and putting Him to an open shame.
Live what you preach! If you preach the truth than live the truth, and though men might scoff, and mock and ridicule, one day you will receive your just reward for your faithfulness.
The third way we are able to stand for truth is by being prepared from the onset to suffer for its sake.
2 Timothy 3:12, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
The fact that we will have to suffer persecution if we desire to live godly in Christ Jesus, or in the truth as He identified Himself on various occasions, must be a foregone conclusion for us as believers. It is when we dismiss the notion of having to suffer for the sake of truth, or for the sake of Christ that our commitment begins to wane, and our steadfastness begins to deteriorate once these things begin to arise in our lives.
‘But no one ever told me I was going to suffer persecution for the sake of Christ, no one ever told me I would be mocked and insulted, belittled and ridiculed for the sake of truth.’
The Bible did! The word of God forewarned those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus that persecution was a given, it was not a probability or a possibility, it was a certainty. If you stand for truth, you will be persecuted; if you stand for truth you will be hated; if you stand for truth you will be mocked; if you stand for truth you will be ridiculed. It is not a matter of ‘if’ it is a matter of ‘when’, and as such we must be prepared for these eventualities.
It’s easy to stand for something when it costs us nothing. It’s a lot more difficult when standing for truth implies the loss of possessions, positions, friendships, and family members.
There are many throughout the world today for whom ‘I surrender all’ is not just a song they used to sing in church, but the present reality in which they are living, having suffered the loss of everything for the sake of Christ. I realize such individuals are looked down upon by the more progressive, prosperity driven, self-obsessed evangelists in our country being accused of not having enough faith to hold onto their possessions and even multiply them exponentially through the benevolent blessings of God whose only desire is to bless our socks off, but they are living the gospel of Christ, and being faithful until the end just as God commanded us to be.
Know the truth, live the truth, and be willing to suffer for the sake of truth and in doing so you will be able to stand for it. As for what truth we ought to know, there is only one and that is Christ Jesus, and if men’s truths are in contradiction to His truth, may we be wise and follow after He who gave His life upon a tree that we too might have life in Him.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.