Jesus considers us friends. Jesus wants to confide with me. Jesus has some things he wants me to know. Jesus cares about me immensely. Nothing is too small for him. I can share with him anything. Jesus did not come to judge me but to put me in right standing with God so I don’t miss his goal for my life.
In the face of religious bullies, it is easy just to shut down and become silent. I do this at times. The more I am criticized, the quieter I become. Sometimes it seems to stop the attack. It does take two to argue.
Worse than being silent, however, is being insincere. I soften the message. I become more subtle. I try not to offend.
Jesus challenges me not to be afraid of the bully. They can’t touch my soul. They can’t hurt who I am in Jesus.
The person I need to be concerned about is God. God is in control of everything about me. God is God. My present and my future are all in his hands. I need to be concerned about pleasing God.
I’m speaking to you as dear friends. Don’t be bluffed into silence or insincerity by the threats of religious bullies. True, they can kill you, but then what can they do? There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.