I remember the night I decided to give Jesus everything; no looking back. It was the fall of my eighth-grade year. I was so excited, having just prayed with our youth pastor, that I called my best friend from school. I told her what I had done, that Jesus loved her, and a truckload of stuff. She was less than enthused.

The next day at school, none of my friends wanted to hang out with me. Word had gotten out that I had “gotten religion.”

The world loves to cast shame on others who refuse to go with the herd. Shame when you blow it and everything falls apart; and shame when you’re trying to do the right thing and don’t agree with their beliefs or behavior. It is considered an embarrassment, by many, to believe in God in our “modern, progressive” world.

Christians are labeled “old-fashioned,” “out of touch,” even “toxic” or “bigoted” for what we believe. If you say God created the world, that all life is precious, and that He calls us to remain sexually pure, you’re labeled an intellectual moron. A homophobe. An enemy of equality and diversity.

When did truth become something to be ashamed of? When did right become wrong?

“In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause” (Psalm 25:1-3).

The day is coming when the truth about God and every word He has spoken, will be clear to everyone. Until then, our confidence, our validation about who we are and what we believe, must come from God and what He says in the Bible, not from people.

If you are believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and have felt attacked—as though you have no place in this world, you are in good company. The prophets continued to speak God’s words boldly even when mocked, beaten, and killed. Ten of Jesus’ remaining eleven disciples (after Judas hanged himself) were killed for sharing their eyewitness accounts of His resurrection. They never backed down or gave in to the pressure to conform.

Believers all over the world today are hated, beaten, imprisoned, and treated like traitors for believing in Jesus. But they are not ashamed. And we should not be either.  

Mark 8:38 (and Luke 9:26): “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

Philippians 1:20: “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”

2 Timothy 1:8: “So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.”

2 Timothy 2:15: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

1 Peter 4:16: “However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”

Where is it hardest for you to be courageous about your faith—at home? At work? In school? This music video from Jeremy Camp shows what can happen when God’s people stand tall. Our hope is nothing to be embarrassed about.

“I Am Not Ashamed”