I think one of the most difficult things to deal with is when you cop a ton of criticism for doing what’s right, for standing apart and honouring God, rather than going with the flow.

And let’s face it, going with the flow is easy. Someone tells a dirty joke at work, so you just laugh along with the rest of them. Someone whispers a salacious tidbit of gossip, so you embellish it and pass it on. Another person suggests a small bit of dishonesty, so you play along.

Yes, we all like to be liked. We all like to be part of the crowd. We all like to receive compliments but, and listen to Jesus here …

Luke 6:26 How bad it is when everyone says nothing but good about you. Just look at the false prophets. Their ancestors always said good things about them.

If all we ever get from people is pats on the back, compliments, accolades, then there’s every chance that this is a good indicator that all we’re doing is going with the flow. If we profess to believe in Jesus, if we call ourselves “Christians”, then our job in this world is to represent Him, to shine His light, to love with His love and above all to honour Him, to stand apart from evil, from wrongdoing, for His sake.

Anything less than that – now think about this, let it sink in here what Jesus is saying – is the equivalent of being a false prophet. Truly representing Jesus, is going to cost us – perhaps our reputation or our friends sometimes even our livelihood. Hey, honouring His Father in heaven, cost Jesus His life.

No, let’s not go out there deliberately to antagonise people, but sometimes standing for Christ will draw fire. Expect criticism.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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