I imagine most of us have, at some time or another, felt out of place because of our Christian commitment. Maybe you were at a work party where things began to be uncomfortable. Or perhaps you were asked a pointed question by someone who was obviously hostile to Christianity. Maybe friends are doing something that goes against our commitment to the Lord, but we feel pressured to join in – we have all been in those kinds of situations.
When Paul went to Mars Hill and stood with people of many different faiths and beliefs, he talked to them about the “unknown God” – the God they did not know. When he told them about Jesus and how he arose from the dead, the Bible says there was a mixed reaction.
When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” -Acts 17:32
Everyone wants to be liked and it’s hard to stand firm when we receive criticism for our faith. Yet, even while some sneered, others wanted to hear more. This is a good description of our Christian walk today. Some will sneer, no doubt. Some will open up their hearts for the opportunity to know more about Jesus.
Jesus himself experienced the same kind of reactions. Luke 23:35 records that at the cross, “The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
At the same time, we know that there was a thief there that Jesus promised eternal life.
Living for Jesus doesn’t always produce the results we want to see. Sometimes our Christian commitment makes us or others uncomfortable. Whenever you feel uncomfortable to be a person of faith in a context of unbelief or even rejection, remember that there are always those who will believe and want to know more. We must remember that the Gospel offers the only hope that humans have – the love of Jesus and His willingness to save sinners. And that’s all of us.