We live in a world run rampant with political correctness. As I was reading through Matthew chapter 10, which records Jesus calling his twelve apostles and telling them of their duties and the unpopularity they would face, I wondered what Jesus would say about being politically correct in today’s world.
He warned his disciples that they would be brought before governors and kings, that they would be hated for His name’s sake, that they would be persecuted and flee from city to city. He told them that just as people said he was of the house of Beelzebub (the devil), the world will also call them (his divinely ordained apostles) of Satan’s household. It doesn’t sound like his disciples where very ”PC.”
I am reminded of something my dad has always said, ”If the world loves you, then you must be doing something wrong. And if they hate you, you must be doing something right.”
Although this statement isn’t always true, it does hold much of the time. Goodness and truth are rarely popular in the eyes of the world. Many times those who are most persecuted are they who are closest to the Savior, whereas those who are lauded as wonderful are often those who deny Him and promote Satan’s agenda.
It is not what people say about us that matters, it is who we are inside and the fruit we bear. In Matthew 7:16-20, Jesus gave us the true test of any belief, doctrine, principle, idea or person:
”Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
Beliefs determine actions. So, we can determine the value of any principle, belief or idea by looking at the results of it in the lives of those who practically apply it (not just those who claim to). What we have to ask ourselves when judging something is whether it bears good fruit or not. How popular, socially acceptable or how politically correct it is, is irrelevant. Actions speak louder than words. The following series of questions prove helpful when judging the fruit of any principle, doctrine or belief:
When properly applied, does it lead to
- more good or more evil?
- more closeness or distance from Jesus Christ?
- more light or more darkness?
- more truth or more error?
- more peace or more confusion?
- more happiness or more misery?
- more friendship or more animosity?
- more love or more hate?
We must be careful that we do not judge that which is good and from God to be evil or that which is of Satan to be good. Isaiah warned us,
”Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
We live in a world that does much of this.
How do we live in a world that calls good evil?
It’s tough living in a world that calls good evil and evil good – especially when you’re trying to live your life on the good side, and even moreso when you haven’t been taught correct principles. But Christ gives us several ways to cope with this in Matthew 10.
Be Wise, Yet Harmless
Christ told his disciples, ”I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
We must work to have His Spirit with us at all times so we can be wise in distinguishing truth from error and so that we do not mistakenly call evil good or good evil. For the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, is the spirit of truth and by the power of the Holy Ghost you may know the truth of all things. (John 15:26)
Feed Your Mind with Truth
Jesus told his disciples, ”Take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” (Matthew 10: 19-20). John 14:26 also tells us that ”the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
For something to be remembered, we need to study. Study the scriptures. Feed good things into your mind. Then when you’re called upon to defend your beliefs or bear testimony of what you know is true the Spirit can bring those things to your remembrance and also inspire you to say something you never even thought of before.
Matthew 10:26 says that when they call us of the devil or evil because of our beliefs, we should, ”Fear them not, for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.”
The truth will be known one day.
We must ”fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (v28) It is our soul that matters not how popular we are or even what others may do to our very lives. In the end, it is what we do with our souls that matters.
Remember You Have Value
Jesus tells us that the very hairs of our head are numbered. If not even a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father noticing, how much more value are we than many sparrows? (v30-32). We have great value in the eyes of God.
Put God First
Jesus says in Matthew 10:37, ”He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
From an Old Testament perspective we might say that God wants us to put Him first because he is a jealous God and wants to be uppermost in our minds. But, from a New Testament perspective, I have come to understand that He loves us so much that He knows that the only way we can truly reach our full potential is to put Him first.
We have to keep our eye on the goal. God grants us according to the desires of our hearts. ”For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
We have to truly want to follow Him. It’s not an easy or popular path. Until we quit worrying about what other people think of us, we will not have the desire or the courage to do what truly needs to be done to become all that he has in store for us.
We cannot find ourselves — our true potential until we are willing to lose the life we have artificially made for ourselves.
So the next time you feel attacked for your beliefs, draw on these tips the Savior gave us. Or the next time you see someone attacked for their beliefs, take a good hard look. Pay less attention to what their attackers say and look closely at the fruit.
When carefully observed, do the beliefs in question lead to do good and to believe in Christ? If so, then you know they come from God. If not, you know they don’t.”