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When Others Don’t Like What I Believe

There were so many great questions you submitted for our Ask Anything series that we just don’t have the time to preach on.  But I think they should be answered, so we’re doing it in these posts. One person asked, “How do you explain to others that you observe Saturday Sabbath and why you do.  Yet, they still say you are wrong and look down on you?”

It is never easy when something that you believe separates you from others that you care about.  Being put down for what you believe hurts. Jesus certainly experienced that kind of treatment, and He told us that we could expect it as well.  In Matthew 5:11-12 He said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” 

Frankly, I don’t feel very blessed when something I think is wonderful becomes a point of ridicule or attack by someone else.  But that is exactly how Jesus calls us to look at this kind of behavior. In John 15, He reminded his disciples that they shouldn’t expect any better treatment from people than He Himself received.  Whenever those who are intent on self serving pursuits are confronted with the love and grace of true Christianity, they are likely to respond in the same way the enemy has always responded to Christ.

With that understood, how we share what we believe can help avoid creating unnecessary animosity.  When Jesus called us to share our faith with others, he called us to be “witnesses.” A witness tells others what they have personally experienced.  Sometimes we believe that we need to prove why the Saturday Sabbath is right and Sunday Sabbath is wrong. When we frame the conversation as a debate or attempt to prove our point, we create an adversarial relationship.  

If you want to be a witness, focus on what the Seventh-day Sabbath has meant for you and how it has impacted your relationship with God.  That means you may have to think through more personal reasons for why you keep the Seventh-day Sabbath than things like, “It’s in the Ten Commandments.” or “The Bible says it is the true day of worship.”  Perhaps you can share why setting aside a full 24 hours away from the stress of work is teaching you how to trust God more completely. Or how spending focused time with your Creator on the day He set aside for time with us is helping you turn from fear and shame and is teaching you how to live life from freedom and love.  Of course, you may have to rethink why you keep the Sabbath holy for that to be true. I would highly recommend it!

If someone does want to dispute and argue, lead them back to the idea that all followers of Jesus are called to let the Holy Spirit, “Lead us into all truth.” and that the Bible is our basis of understanding God’s will for our lives.  They don’t need to argue with you. They simply have to be satisfied that their opinion and practice is supported by the Bible.  

You can’t guarantee that people will always respect you for your beliefs. But you can be sure that you are avoiding unnecessary disputes and arguments by how you share your faith with others.

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