My thoughts (Melody Merida):
When I was in high school, I attended a small, ultra-conservative Christian church and school. We students were told that we needed to look and act different from the kids in town who attended the public school. Some of us struggled to act differently, but boy did we succeed at looking different! I remember begging my mother to let me wear a pair of jeans instead of a long skirt. I wanted to be normal like everyone else!
And we didn’t go unnoticed. Most folks in our town knew where we went to church and school because of our different appearance. For most of my high school years, I was terribly embarrassed of looking different. I was ashamed of my faith traditions that called upon me to be different. I felt timid and shy when I went outside of my social circles. A trip to the grocery store with my mother would make me a nervous wreck. Because of this, I rarely ventured outside of my own group of peers. I made it a purpose not to go anywhere without a large group of friends who looked like me. There was strength in numbers. I didn’t feel quite so ashamed if my friends were with me.
When I look back on this time in my life, I realize that most of my anxiety probably had nothing to do with what other people thought. Most people in the community couldn’t have cared less about how I dressed and looked. It was my perception that caused me to be so embarrassed.
I’m not saying that we should adopt the specific principles that guided my family when I was young, but I am saying we shouldn’t be embarrassed about our faith and what our faith calls us to do in service to our Lord.
Today’s scripture tells us that God gave us the spirit of power, not of timidity. Because of our power found in Christ, we shouldn’t be ashamed to testify about our Lord. In fact, we should be thrilled to show others that the Creator God is our power source.
Thought for the day: Am I living a timid life or a life filled with power? The spirit of fear is not from God — so tap into God’s ultimate power source.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.