Musings on Boldness
Why live boldly as a Christian? Why speak and act in a way that offends people who don't want to be confronted with God's truth? Most of us are to some degree people-pleasers, avoiding confrontation, flattering and cajoling, generally speaking and acting in a way that gets us ahead in life by not offending others, by saying things they want to hear. Self-preservation and self-advancement make us slaves to the ears of others. They won't kill you if they like you. You might get a raise, romance, or respect if you keep telling them what they want to hear. But if you tell them they need to be forgiven for their sins, otherwise God's wrath abides on themâ€¦ you might not get very far in life.
Some don't really care what others think, and speak their minds freely. Usually they are just obnoxious, not wanting to be bothered with concern for others. But how can we escape "people-pleasism" (the fear of men), yet still care about others? How can we be bold to proclaim that which people hate to hear, yet do it out of love?
We start by believing that our true preservation and true advancement come from God through the Gospel. People might leave us poor and abandoned and dead on the side of the road because they don't like our message. But in Christ we are rich and alive, in sweet communion with God for eternity. His kingdom and reign are over all the earth (and beyond), and we inherit all things through Christ. When we see that everything truly precious to us does not depend on what others think of us, but is hidden with Christ in God, untouchable, unassailable, and guaranteed to us forever on his bloodâ€¦ then we can find freedom from the fear of men. When we believe that the Gospel is the best thing that ever happened to us, and that no threat can separate us from God's love through Christ, we can fearlessly and boldlyâ€”with gentleness and affectionâ€”proclaim that same Gospel to others in need, whether they like to hear it or not.