How do you respond when those whom you love, and who are supposed to love you, attack your faith?
This question was recently presented before me by an old friend from when I lived in New York. He asked this to me, and knowing some of his family background and what he has been through, I knew exactly what he meant, despite not talking for several years. It’s a delicate question, regardless of the situations behind it. I want to answer it the right way, and I told him as much. I’ve spent a couple days praying about my response. The best way I know to speak is through my writing. This is an open letter to my friend and to anyone else who may be going through a similar situation.
As a Christian in this world, we are called to a higher standard of life. Because we are meant to live differently, others in this world won’t understand. When people don’t understand something, a natural defense is to dismiss it by mocking it and putting it down. There’s nothing we can do, except for draw closer to the One who gives us a peace beyond all understanding. That peace is what sustains us through the hurt and pain of life. Draw closer to Jesus and stay with Him. In fact, Jesus tells us to prepare for mocking and hate from the people of this world. He warned us about it in John 16:33 when He says, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
I know none of this makes sense to the natural mind, but when we are in Christ Jesus we are reborn and our mind is renewed. We become spiritual-minded. We have life in Christ Jesus because of what He did for us on the Cross. When we accept His death and resurrection in our heart and we live for Him, our life has a whole new meaning. The things in this life don’t matter near as much and we begin to see from an eternal perspective. This is being spiritual-minded. The difference between carnel-minded (of this world) and spiritual-minded (not of this world) is literally life and death. Romans 8:6 sums it up; “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
This world hurts and we will experience more pain as we get closer to Heaven, but I want to encourage you to stay strong in the faith. Stand strong, be of a good courage and don’t give up the fight. Stay close to Jesus and stay in the Word of God. When you are surrounded by toxicity and you can’t immediately pull away, stay rooted in the Word. That will be your greatest source of encouragement, even greater than a best friend. Jesus is the greatest friend who is always there, even when nobody else is. You are a child of the one true Kind and you are so very loved.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
My prayer is that this letter is a source of encouragement and you find strength in the Source of life abundant. Run to Him and He will see you through. He will never leave. He will never run. He is always there. Find rest in Him today and always.