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First of all don't be intimidated. You must saturate yourself with scripture. When this happens pray for the Lord to fill your mouth with the proper response. He will embolden you. God's word is a mighty two-edged sword. He will give you courage to do anything He asks of you. He is always at your side. Exodus 4:12 Now go-I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say. The book of Gal. 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. Joshua 1:9. This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. These are but a few of the verses we as Christians carry in our hearts every moment we are on our journey home. Be of good cheer!
Nomi... I envy you and I only know one thing about you and that is that you're a child of a king. Actually Your Father is my Father and I also am a child of a king. The difference is nobody teases me for it so that's why I envy you. Evidently you're a standout for The Lord. If you were a CIA believer you would go undetected and no one would even know that you're a soldier in the army of The Lord. Sounds to me like you wear the uniform, boots, helmet, shield, suspenders, belt, the whole armor...Ephesians 6:10 and following. So, your question is how should you react to being teased for being saved for eternity... Given life in the presence of The Almighty for the duration.. (Free tickets to all the worship, praise, prayer conferences for forever... God has you on schlarship.... FREE RIDE for eternity and you're being teased. Sounds normal to me though. I've heard stories from NBA players and Albert Einstein and others who were "different", whether the difference was size or feet too large, or maybe just spiritual perception. They suffered for being different than their peers and came out blessed on the other side. The word says: to suffer for doing wrong is no credit to the one who suffers. But to suffer because of your conscience toward God (The One who put you on scholarship... FREE RIDE) is commendable. 1 Peter 2:19-20. That word commendable means that you deserve credit for standing up for The Lord when you're put on blast for Him. Me, I have a tendency to do like Saul did when the people chose him to be king and he was taken totally by surprise. He went and hid, not wanting to be noticed when it was his time to shine 1Samuel 10:22 He couldn't hide though. No one can hide from The Most High. How to react? Don't hide... REPRESENT... You can help those teasers when you represent THE TRUTH.. They need you.. Don't let them down... I think you'll do fine. God Bless...
Normi honey let it shine! I know sometimes it's hard but just remember as a Christian where you will be when it's all said and done! Hang in there, God loves you, we love you. Showing this love may change their minds and just think how that would feel? Hugs!
Hi Naomi, The first response to someone who is teasing you about your faith is to say a silent prayer for him/her and for you. Here's where you need all that armor that God has to offer in Ephesians 6:10-18: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. After that I think your response depends upon who is teasing and the intent of the teasing. Teasing can range from a simple rib tickler to outright bullying. It can be from someone who loves and respects you or someone who hates you because you are a Christian. If you have a decent relationship with the teaser, try telling the person how you feel about it. Have you heard of "I statements"? This is a good place to use one: I feel (sad, mad, hurt, etc.) when you (tease, ridicule, make fun of, etc.) me about my (faith, Christianity, etc.) I want you to stop because it's (hurting me, hurting our friendship, bothering me a lot, etc.) If this is more like bullying, then you can use an "I statement", but it probably won't help much. If it is a friend who is bullying, you might want to reevaluate the friendship. Really! Why would you hang around someone who is disrespectful to you and to Christ? Otherwise, distance yourself from this person, continue to pray for him/her-- especially that he/she would come to faith, and surround yourself with Christian friends. As it says in Hebrews 10:25 GOD'S WORD® Translation: We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming. Think of these teasers as a mission field and ask God to show you how He wants you to respond. Also pray for Him to put people and situations into their lives that will soften their hearts toward Jesus. (Note: It might not be you!) It this continues, you might want to talk to your Pastor and/or a Christian Counselor who can help you learn to be more assertive. The book, "Speaking the Truth in Love" by Kenneth Haugk is very good to read for learning Christian assertiveness.
Affliction comes in many forms and has a very valuable place in the plan of God. I don't normally tell people to do word studies, but they have their place and in this case I think you should. However, you must do it right and study the Hebrew word and its Greek equivalent, not just the English word as most people do. Study all its forms and many of its related words. The most common Hebrew words will be anah (Strong's 6030 and 6031 -- both spelled exactly the same way, both verbs so I have no idea why it is listed as two separate words unless maybe one is transitive and the other intransitive or some other obscure classification,) and oniy (Strong's 6040). These are generic words. I would recommend as even more important a set of word derivations that deal with specific forms of affliction. These are naga (Strong's 5060, a verb) and nega (Strong's 5061, a noun) and are variously translated as affliction, mold, mildew, plague, smite, stroke, wound, beat and occasionally other similar words. All are the same Hebrew concept. God's disciplines come to us in one of two ways: as punishment for our sins (see Lev 26 and Deut 28) or simply for our refinement (the texts are too numerous to list, but do a word search on tempt, try, assay, refine and a few others that will become obvious in the course of this study). The latter is the category under which Job was tested. His friends accused him of sin and by doing so sinned themselves because their lack of understanding of how God works led them to false witness. Only Elihu was not reproved by God because he had an adequate understanding of how God works in this manner. Job understood God's sovereignty but now how or why affliction works. Elihu's understanding was not much better but he did acknowledge that God always has a just reason for requiring us to go through the affliction. In the later prophets God tells us that it is always about our refinement. We are not perfect and we always have much to learn so if we are not going through some form of affliction now it will always be somewhere in our future. Paul says, "Rejoice in the Lord Always," Phil 4:4. It is often asked if this includes during affliction. If you know God's purpose for affliction this is not so difficult to do. Yet another perspective comes from the laws of judgment and from Ezekiel 14:1-11. In this passage God tells us how he will deal with us when we consult with a prophet (even the scriptures) to prove our beliefs and bias rather than to seek what God really has to say on a matter. This is regularly seen in each of us when we seek that one verse that says exactly what we want as "proof" rather than seeking every word on the matter. There are apparent contradictions in scripture and a verse does not always mean just what we think it means or want it to mean, but when we remove it from all context we can do with it what we will. In verse 8 God says when we behave in this manner he will make us a byword (laughing stock) and this is why many Christians are ridiculed by the world and by Christians of other denominations. Our foolishness in these matters is always painfully obvious to someone, but we won't admit it to ourselves. All of us have these idols of the heart; few of us will do the self-examination God requires (Matt 7:3-5) to discern these idols and cast them down. In all matters of judgment/discernment we are required by God to examine and correct ourselves first. If we refuse we become a laughing stock and face the ridicule of others.
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