I’m thinking about boldness today. And I’m afraid I have more questions than answers.
What should boldness look like, especially for a Christian? Are there special rules? Should we be mindful of who might be listening and watching? Or is our opinion or ideology the most important thing? Said another way, is the damage done to another person balanced by the freedom to say it? Can I be bold for Christ while still hating conflict?
Today’s reading in the podcast is Acts, chapter 13. In it, we read how Paul and Barnabas were full of boldness. The Gentiles needed to hear that the Good News of Jesus Christ was for them too.
You see, there was an A-List. Everyone knew the power of the God of the Israelite nation. But the catch was that you had to be a Jew to be a beneficiary of its advantages.
Honesty with Gentleness
Of course, the Gentiles were thrilled to hear what Paul had to say. The Jews? Not so much. It would appear that being honest is part of being bold. Paul’s message was clear and he quoted Scripture to back up his claims. The message was that the Good News had to be taken first to the Jews and they rejected it. They were still rejecting it.
But Paul and Barnabas were unruffled. They said what they had come to say, rejoiced with those who accepted it, and shook off the dust from their feet as a witness against those who didn’t.
How did they handle the conflict? What did they do when they were persecuted? Are we only able to learn about being bold for Christ from them? Or can we glean from their approaches, tools that are useful to debates with friends, in our marriages and in the political arena? In other words, our daily lives.