Read today’s headlines and you might conclude that Christian boldness is a thin disguise for defensiveness, anger, and demeaning behavior. Believers who feel voiceless in their society sometimes respond by becoming adamant “defenders of the faith” in ways that can be destructive. In an age of instant electronic communication, our potential for good or harm has increased exponentially. In all this disarray we have forgotten how we are to act and who we are to be, Jesus.
Paul serves as a good model for using influence in a Christ-like way. In Acts 21–22, Paul encountered an angry Jewish mob that wanted him dead. Instead of responding self-righteously or as a Roman citizen, looking down on them from his enlightened position, he testified about the “Righteous One” to people who vehemently opposed him.
Humility. He appealed to the masses by telling them his story—simply, boldly, and honestly. He emphasized his transformation: He was once a persecutor, but now he shared the work of Jesus in his life.
We should be ready to do likewise, to spread the gospel by speaking the truth in love, without insisting on our rights or trying to obtain influence. Instead of buying poster board to protest a funeral or refusing to do your clerical work, be like Paul, but mostly be like Jesus.