1 Peter 3:13-14 (ESV)
13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
Luke 12:8-9 (ESV)
8 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, 9 but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
Who will harm you if you’re radically in pursuit of good? No one that I can think of. And what is good? A hand up for the poor, the widows, the hungry, the addicted, the imprisoned, the abused, the marginalized. A hand up not a hand out of course – giving, investing, caring, sacrificing – action beyond writing a check and going back to the TV or whatever else you were doing.
And the one who denies me before men will deny me before God. Denying takes many forms – some outright and aggressive like Steven Hawking or Peter Singer, others more subtle like Joel Olsteen or Benny Hinn. Haters also deny God whether they are from Daesh or Westboro Baptist. We deny Him by how we live and our professions of faith.
It’s OK to believe in God. It’s OK to do His work. It’s OK to love radically, because if we’re not, then we are doing evil, even if we think we aren’t. Sorry, that’s just how He lays it out.
It’s a risk – people might not want to hear what you say, might unfriend you, might think you’re a nut job (yeah, yeah – I know, I crossed that line years ago), blah, blah, blah. So what? Don’t be afraid of doing good, even if you suffer for it because of evil! I’d rather be acknowledged before the angels of God and in the Book of Life than denied.
What about you?