If there's one thing I've learned from hitting "publish" on this post, it's that you better be ready for the attacks and negative feedback when you write publicly about your beliefs; especially when you stand for something that is so counter-cultural, like purity. And you better have thick skin. Luckily, I do.
In an effort to be transparent, because I want you, my readers, to know that I stand firm on what I believe, and because I want to encourage others to do the same, I have left all the negative anonymous comments up. I have also answered each one in the comment section.
I'm not afraid of a challenge. I'm not afraid for someone to question my stance on an issue. Because I know what I believe: the truth. And I know why I believe these things to be true.
At the same time, however, if someone does show me where I am wrong, based on scripture, I'm not afraid to reconsider. Perhaps that's even more difficult than standing up for what you believe in.
He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. Proverbs 15:31
How can you let those rude comments and attacks roll off your back so easily?, you might ask. Here is why I don't take attacks personal, and how I can stand my ground when my beliefs are questioned: We can have thick skin when we stand on the Word of God. Don't rely on your own strength or arguments when someone questions or challenges you. God has already given a solid answer. Stick with it. Know His word. Stand on it. Present it clearly and confidently.
And never take it personally.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
I think one problem in the Christian community today is that we don't take the time to learn the basic theological groundwork for what we believe. And if we don't have a strong foundation for what we believe, then when challenged, we start to question why we even believe it to begin with. Not only that, but we have a hard time communicating why we believe it. So it's not surprising that 7 out of 10 students walks away from their faith when they leave home and enter the university setting; when their beliefs are questioned at every turn.
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
But we don't have to be discouraged when our faith is questioned. We can stand strong when we know what the truth is. If your faith lies in the redeeming work of Christ on the cross, then you can have a humble confidence in His words and His promises. He is faithful and He is true. His word will stand up to any challenge. Not only that, because it is alive and God-breathed, it can change hearts in the process. And that isn't your job; it's the job of the Holy Spirit. All you have to do is tell others the truth. Talk to others about the good news. Live your life in a way that is holy and pleasing to the Lord. Encourage your brother's and sister's in Christ to do that same.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. John 17: 17-18
And while I'm not suggesting that we all become scholar theologians, I am begging you to dig in to God's word. Study it. Know it. Seek Jesus through the truth of scripture. And when you know Him, you'll know the Truth, and then you'll have thick skin, because your strength and confidence will lie in the Lord alone.