Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. (John 12:42-43)
Relate: My family moved from Syracuse to Rochester right near the beginning my eighth grade year. In Syracuse I had always gone to a Christian school and now for the first time I was to be attending a public school. To say it was a culture shock was a bit of an understatement. I handled this change in culture with about as much grace and tact as an angry bull in a small cramped china shop. I had an abundance of truth but practically no grace. It did not take long for pretty much everyone at school to learn I was a Christian and that if my mouth was open I was probably telling you all about it as well as what you were doing wrong.
One day I was in a nearly empty hall getting something from my locker when another student came up to me and began a conversation:
Him – Hey
Me – What?
Him – I’m just like you.
Me – What do you mean?
Him – I’m a Christian.
Me – Really? I never would have guessed. What makes you think you’re a Christian?
Him – You know. I believe in God.
Me – So what? Demons believe in God too. That doesn’t make them Christians.
He looked at me confused. Like I said, I wasn’t one for tact back in those days. I much preferred an argument to an agreement. That doesn’t change the truth of what I was presenting. This kid was trying to live his life as a secret Christian. He was more concerned with breaking in with the cool crowd than he was with standing up for Jesus. Eventually, plenty of other Christians started coming out of the woodwork. There were a lot of others who were willing to stand up and be counted. He wasn’t one of them. Eventually, a lot of others could be found sharing their faith in their study halls and in the lunch room. To my knowledge most of the others never even realized that he considered himself one of them. Over the years I would have plenty of other conversations with him. He knew all the right things and he really did believe that he believed it, but He loved the pull of the world even more. By the end of high school, while so many others were standing ever stronger and taller for Christ, he was beginning to reject more and more the truth of what he knew.
React: I was learning a sad lesson through that student’s life. Nobody can survive for long as a secret Christian. A light hidden under a bowl is soon snuffed out for lack of oxygen. Christ is contagious. If He is really living in us, then He will be flowing out of us. If we are trying to prevent or hide the flow of God then it will soon become stagnant, stale, and poisoned. If we aren’t life giving, then we are not truly alive.
Do my co-workers know who I am? If they don’t realize I am a Christian, then is it really them that I am fooling or is it myself? When was the last time I have shared my faith? When was the last time I have told someone what Christ has done for me in a real time, face to face situation? Is my light shining? If not, has it gone out?
God, I recognize that the only way I can truly stand for You is through Your strength. I can never do it on my own. The pull of the things of this world will always be too strong. The lure of the desires in my flesh is killing. Make me come alive. Breathe on me. Breathe through me. One of the proofs of life is reproduction and I ask You for spiritual children. Give me the courage to boldly speak out what You have done for me. When I speak place an anointing on my words so that they will have an eternal impact. I want to live for You but more than that, I want to be seen and known as one who lives for You. Through my life let all who can, see Your glory.