Friday, April 1, 2011


One of the hardest things in the world to do is apologize. Saying the words themselves isn’t always the most difficult part. It’s the actual mental Olympics that come along with it. It is also the issue of pride and humility. Most people have all kinds of rampant thoughts when a situation calls for an apology.
What happens if this person takes advantage of my apologetic stance? What happens if the person rejects my apology and things don’t get resolved? What happens if I make myself emotionally vulnerable and then get in this same situation again? What if I apologize and then discover that I don’t really mean it? This is just the beginning of the kinds of thoughts we have. But most importantly, we acknowledge that apologizing is an admission of wrong doing. There was misconduct on our part, either intentionally or unintentionally, that offended someone else that now requires an amends.

So, if an apology is misconduct or a wrong done, why are so many Christians apologizing for being a Christian? Is there anything wrong with following Christ?
Today, many Christians don’t even realize that they are apologetic for what they believe. Instead of being bold, they are sort of shy about their faith and what their faith represents. When they have worship services or ministry work to do, they tell people they have business meetings, instead of telling others what they are really doing. When it’s time to offer thanksgiving for their meal in public, they do it as quickly as possible. At tax time, they almost apologize to their accountants for how much they’ve given to their ministry work. When others are talking at work about what they think or believe, the believers shy away from offending others. When they share a religious thought, they start off with phrases like, “I hope this doesn’t bother you, but…” They won’t share the gospel with lost family members and friends because they don’t want to ruffle any feathers. They carefully approach religious topics because they don’t want to be associated with those hypocritical, narrow minded, extreme Bible thumpers that the media likes to parade on talk shows and the evening news.

Maybe they don’t realize the great opportunity before them. That is, that the world is hungry for answers, solutions, and help. Maybe they don’t realize that the beginning and end of healing, restoration, renewal, forgiveness, and revival in our world both begin and end with Jesus Christ as the solution.

Paul faced this same challenge. His response was simply, “I’m not ashamed of the gospel.” (Romans 1: 16). I love the way that Wiersbe The Bible Exposition Commentary explains Paul’s situation.

“...the Gospel was identified with a poor Jewish carpenter who was crucified. The Romans had no special appreciation for the Jews, and crucifixion was the lowest form of execution given a criminal. Why put your faith in a Jew who was crucified?

Rome was a proud city, and the Gospel came from Jerusalem, the capital city of one of the little nations that Rome had conquered. The Christians in that day were not among the elite of society; they were common people and even slaves. Rome had known many great philosophers and philosophies; why pay any attention to a fable about a Jew who arose from the dead? (1 Cor. 1:18–25) Christians looked on each other as brothers and sisters, all one in Christ, which went against the grain of Roman pride and dignity. To think of a little Jewish tentmaker, going to Rome to preach such a message, is almost humorous. ”

If we’d all be honest, there are aspects of the gospel that seems totally foolish. It doesn’t seem logical to spend so much effort talking about a man that was hung on a tree thousands of years ago or talk about a God that we can’t physically touch when the problems we deal with today are so real and touchable. It probably doesn’t make sense to talk about loving those that are hard to love and getting delayed results. I’m sure that it’s difficult to understand how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is available to both those that have committed the worst crimes imaginable and yet also to that person who is considered a “good, moral person” by most of society’s standards. Yet – thousands have embraced the message and experienced God’s power. The risk involved at rejecting this gospel are greater than believing it and finding out later that it was a sham and counterfeit. I’ll take my chances believing this gospel that has some public relations issues, a few inconsistent representatives, and apparent unexplainable happenings. For all that it is worth, it makes more sense to me to believe it, trust it, represent it, stand on, and not be ashamed of it because I have found it takes more work for me to not believe than to simply trust it. For that, I will never apologize for believing this life-giving message.
Scripture Of The Day: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel.” - Romans 1:16 (NIV)

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