How to Live with Uncommon Courage
"Stand up for me against world opinion and I'll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I'll cover for you?" (Matthew 10:32 MSG)
To live with uncommon courage and stand up for Christ, you have to learn how to clarify your worldview - what you base your beliefs on. You also have to understand the non-Christian worldviews that compete for your devotion every day. Here are the four most popular anti-Christian worldviews:
Materialism: What matters most is money. Materialists measure their success by wealth, but you didn't bring anything into the world, and you won't take anything out of it. You were made for more than things. Luke 12:15 says, "Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions" (NIV). The greatest things in life aren't things.
Hedonism: Whatever feels good is good. For hedonists, pleasure is their god. Their goal in life is to be comfortable and have fun. But happiness is not the goal in life; happiness is a by-product of living out your purpose. Holiness creates happiness. "Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit" (Galatians 6:8 NLT).
Individualism: What I want comes first. America was built on rugged individualism, and today that has evolved into a culture of narcissism. But God didn't create you to live for you. If you want to follow Jesus, you have to put aside your selfish ambition. Romans 2:8 says, "For those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger" (NIV). God opposes self-centeredness because God is love, and love is never selfish.
Socialism: Government should control everything. God is not an anarchist; everything should be done in order. I've spoken at most of the major, secular elite conferences, and I've discovered this: Politics is the religion of people who don't know God. There is nothing wrong with politics, but it shouldn't be your savior. "Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20). I'm to be a responsible citizen, but I do not owe government my life. My greater loyalty is to God and not to government.
What is the result of these worldviews? The crumbling of our culture, crisis in our schools, corruption in our businesses, chaos in our government, carnality in our churches, confusion in our families, and conflicts in our personal lives. Any time we don't go by the owner's manual, we're the ones who get hurt. You see, we don't really break God's laws - they break us.
To counter these prevalent worldviews, God is calling Christians to stand up for his truth "against world opinion." You can only do that when you have a solid foundation in God's Word and the uncommon courage that comes from a relationship with him.
Talk It Over
- To which of these worldviews do you relate the most? Why?
- In what specific ways has God asked you to stand against world opinion? How have you responded?
- What can you do to build a stronger foundation on which to base your Christian worldview?