(Proverbs 28:1 KJV) The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
As I began to read through this chapter in Proverbs today I was immediately struck by the first verse. As I write this the country is still sifting through its feelings about the shooting in Arizona. There has also been a lot of talks about the attack dog approach of the media in trying to demonize everyone they disagree with and blame the shooting on their hate speech.
What this does is cause believers to hunker down, bring out their quotes of “turn the other cheek” and deny that we have any desire to share a radical gospel about sin, repentance and salvation. I know the Other Cheek Syndrome. I have practiced it quite often. Usually it is the right approach and attitude. But that is not the whole picture. I often turn the other cheek when I should be “bold as a lion.”
I don’t want to become an aggressive, arrogant, do-it-my-way-or-I-will-punch-you-in-the-face type of person. What I do want is to be a living witness of the “righteous” character that Jesus wants the world to see. That means that there are times when I will have to stand up and say as Martin Luther said, “Here I stand.” Of course he said it in German, but you get the idea. When I am told that it is okay to spin the truth, I need to be bold. When I am asked to compromise my integrity at work, I need to be bold. When I am told that it is a choice for a nine months pregnant woman to kill her unborn child, I need to be bold. When I am told that homosexual marriage is acceptable to God, I need to be bold. When the rich young ruler asked what he needed to do and rejected the words of Jesus, Jesus did not negotiate, he let the man go. When the woman caught in adultery was not condemned by Jesus, he did not cry “Group hug,” but said “go and sin no more.”
So? I need to be sure of the facts of a situation. I need to know the word. I need to have the love of Christ in my heart. I need to be bold.