"What's more important - your goal, or others' opinions of your goal?" Chinese Fortune
The other day the kids and I went to Cici's pizza (a sanity meal while the husband was traveling) and we got settled at our table and prayed. It was a relatively short prayer, thanking God for our food and asking for His protection and blessing upon our day. I had noticed an older gentleman watching us, but didn't think a lot about it. Shortly after we began our meal he came over, leaned down and said, "It was nice to see you praying in public...you know, it makes people talk..." I had thanked him for his comments but didn't have a lot of time to process them until later on. In the moment I had thought, "It's just what we always do."
Later, when I had time to reflect a bit more about this gentleman going out of his way to talk to us, I realized that it has been awhile since I saw people pray in public. I honestly cannot remember the last time that I have seen an entire table or family pray together out loud at a restaurant and it began to really bother me. We are so blessed in our country to have religious freedoms, and yet so many times we take that for granted and get embarrassed or "worried about what someone might think of us" or possibly that we might "offend" someone.
God brought to mind some Scriptures that I wanted to share:
Luke 9:26 "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (also Matthew 10:13 & Mark 8:38)
2 Timothy 2:12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; (NASB)
God has called us to deny ourselves - our pride and flesh and to follow Him (Luke 23-26) What is it that is showing others that we have chosen to be "set apart" for HIM? If someone was randomly watching your public life is there any indication that you are living for Christ? I am not just asking you, the reader, to answer this question honestly within yourself, but I am reflecting on this personally as well.
There was another time when someone had come up to me after praying over a meal in public. I was in Miami, passing through, on my way back from a missions trip and some of our team met a friend at Burger King. We prayed over our meal and this woman sitting at another table was STARRING at me. I wasn't sure what to think and actually mentioned it to the guys I was with because I was getting a little uncomfortable with the intensity with which she was staring. She finally got up and came over to me. She (total stranger) burst into tears and poured out her life - her daughter had just been sentenced to jail time and she, herself, had hit rock bottom and had just prayed that IF there was a God that He would show himself to her. And there we were...eating at Burger King...and she saw us pray. We, of course, prayed with this woman, over her and her life. The friend who we had been meeting there gave her some contact information for a local church. You never know who might need to see you pray. Let's do the opposite of denying. Lets take that small stand that we are a believer in Christ. You know, it makes people talk...
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