How Should I Behave When Christian Values are Disrespected?
Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! ~Job 38:4-5
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. ~John 15:18-19
Jesus is very clear, the world will hate us because it hated Him first. He chose us out of the world. Remember, the Kingdom is at War. Since our enemy hates us, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the enemy will show disrespect to the Kingdom of God. So how are we to respond?
Above all God is sovereign! God is fully secure in His identity. He does not need us to defend Him or His honor. But He does want us to tell His story. Our world today has many similarities to Babylonian nation that Daniel lived in. Daniel and his friends were routinely under attack for his faith. He was disrespected to the point of being convicted and sentenced to death. Yet he remained steadfast in his faith. He would not eat from the king’s table, he would not bow down to the king’s golden idol and he would not stop worshipping his God (Daniel 6).
I can imagine how upset this would have made Daniel. The level of “righteous anger” bubbling up in him must have reached a fever pitch and yet, he maintains his cool. Daniel didn’t argue or match their disrespect by upping the stakes. He engaged as a Kingdom Man. He maintained the Kingdom’s vision.
He was surrounded by Kingdom Men. He made space for the Lord to come to his defense. The Lord stepped in and fought His own battles and fought Daniel’s battle. God shut the mouths of the lion in the den and delivered Daniel. Our King was glorified, not disrespected.
When our values are disrespected we, like Daniel, are to lean into our values even more. It’s our living out, and carrying out our faith in word and deed that destabilizes the enemy’s attack and strengthens our witness and glorifies God. The world is watching just as Babylon was watching. The Bible tells us that King Darius, the same King whose decree placed Daniel in the lion’s den, issued a new decree because of Daniel’s faith, “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions. (Daniel 6:26-27)
Today’s Training: When you feel your values and your faith have been disrespected, don’t join the race to the bottom. Don’t engage in name calling, bullying or other behavior that is inconsistent with Christ’s example. If we do, then we must be mindful that “they” are not the only ones disrespecting Christ’s values. But at least when “they” do it “they” won’t also be guilty of hypocrisy.