When learning about what it means to be a Christian, from a young age, we are taught that we must be kind and turn the other cheek. Checking someone or standing up for oneself is not added into that teaching. However, the bible talks about standing up for oneself without cursing or fighting, although fighting may be necessary. One of the most important people to speak up for himself was Jesus. Jesus knew what awaited him when he came down to earth and he knew the verbal rebuke he would face. However, in the midst of it Jesus always stood up for himself and God.
First time we see Jesus stand up for him is in Matthews 4:1-11. It begins with Jesus having fasted for 40 days and 40 nights and the devil tempting him knowing that he was hungry. Every time the devil tempted him with riches, food, earthly possessions and more Jesus responded back to him with scripture. He could have ignored the devil, but he didn’t, he continuously checked him until he fled from him. What I originally got from this passage is that we can overcome our temptations if we know and use God’s word; however there is something else to it.
When anything or anyone comes for you, your faith, your spirituality, your God or more you do not ignore them, you stand up for yourself and check them. I’m not saying to beat them senseless or curse them and the generation after them, just put them in their place without anger.
Jesus not only stood up for himself spiritually but he also stood up for himself in this world. Notice that the Pharisees always had a snide remark toward anything Jesus did or said and would ask him questions to trap him. Again Jesus could have ignored them but he always responded back leaving them confused and even angrier at the fact that they were confused. Lol, Jesus must have had a field day with them.
In Matthews 9: 9-12 Jesus sat with Levi aka Matthew, a tax collector and other tax collectors. The Bible implies that tax-collectors were not well liked people. They cared more about money than people, consider them the ancestors of the IRS. Anyway, when the Pharisees’ saw Jesus eating with these tax-collectors they asked his disciples why he was eating with “sinners.”
The Pharisees’ didn’t outright ask Jesus they inquired about him to his disciples. Basically whispering like little kids. Remember a time when you over heard someone talking smack about you, now some stand up for themselves but others ignore it. Again Jesus could have ignored them but he answered them directly and told them that a doctor does not come to see healthy patients, but the sick. Boom! Right there he shut them down using pure logic.
Jesus didn’t flip a table on these bammas, put a gun to their heads, or threaten them he just checked them. The weird thing about haters, yes the Pharisees were haters, are that they are very persistent in their mindset and cannot rest until they provoke you.
The Pharisees again tried to come for Jesus in Matthew 12:1-14 and Jesus continued to respond to them and make them look stupid. God knows the world that we live in and he knows that there is no way for us to be naive or meek when surrounded by vipers. Since he understands this he knows that we will have to stand up for ourselves if we are to have peace of mind.
Being a Christian does not require us to be doormats or people pleasers, or this world’s definition of “nice.” We are to follow God’s commandments and we are to be strong. Personally, for years I wouldn’t stand up for myself and even now I have moments when it’s hard for me because I will be rocking the boat. Every time I ignored someone or brushed them off and not stand up for myself I felt hopeless and helpless; however, when I would stand up for myself I felt not only confident but empowered as a person that deserved to defend myself against anything and anyone.
It is not easy, trust me, and it won’t be an overnight change but we must stand up for ourselves. If we can’t even stand up for ourselves we sure as heck won’t defend our Lord and even he knows it. So the take away is to read your bible especially the verses I have talked about with an open mind and see why God calls for us to stand up for ourselves. I also want us to redefine what a Christian is and what being a Christian is about, not by the worlds standards, but by God’s.