How To Speak Up For Jesus Without Being That Christian Jerk

It’s late, you’re on social media and at that crucial point of decision.

Do you type the comment or do you stop yourself, walk away and leave it alone?

It’s a tough call to make in a tough age of tough talk surrounding tough issues.

For the believer in Jesus Christ, we find ourselves in a hard place that at times is difficult to maneuver.

On one hand, we don’t want to dishonor the name of Jesus by getting into a heated battle of words. This is the right goal, always, first, foremost and forevermore.  A Christian jerk is rarely, if ever, heard.

We don’t want to add to the vitriol and stir up already rough waters.

But on the other hand, we have this nagging thing inside of us that is telling us we need to be more vocal about our faith.  We can’t shake the feeling that in our effort to not become that Christian jerk, we have become Peter — watching from a safe distance instead of honorably standing with our God. (Matt. 26:58) This doesn’t feel good – this shrinking back from the faith we say we love.

“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” (Hebrews 10:39 ESV) 

Shrinking back, staying silent, is not an option for a follower of Jesus Christ. Neither is being a mouthy Christian jerk. Jesus spoke up for us in the ultimate way on the cross; how much more do we owe Him our going on record? He was rejected, but it was never because He was a Christian jerk. Everything He did was perfect. We won’t be, but we can model our efforts in maneuvering these difficult when to speak/how to speak moments after Him.

  • We must understand the difference between opinion and Gospel conviction. Anyone can spew opinion. Opinion has divided families and hurt hearts and carried wrong motive even before a word was spoken. Opinion hears something it doesn’t like, feels urged to argue by way of quick reaction, and dives into conversation just for diving in sake – driven by the prideful idea that its voice is the most important. More often than not, the opinion wants to silence and even make a fool out of a differing opinion and is offended when others do not agree. Self drives opinion, and the characteristics are easy to identify because it usually results in combat and turmoil. On the other hand, Gospel conviction is a deep groaning for the Truth of the Word to be made known, in order for people to come to know Jesus as the Answer. It weighs response and feels burdened to let people know the better way, but not because it’s a personal vendetta to win. Gospel conviction may still be received poorly, as some people will always reject Jesus. But when we speak up for Him with the heart of Gospel conviction, the tone we take can still draw people to Him.

 

  • We must first establish a legit track record of love. People will listen to those who speak up for Jesus when their record speaks for itself in a positive way. On the other hand, the reason the preaching of many Christians falls on deaf ears is because it hasn’t been backed up by a life that has earned respect, therefore, it is just noise. We’ve got to establish a legit record of loving people before we can speak into their life. Have we listened well? Have we gotten involved in the hurts and needs of others? Have we treated people with kindness? Does our life align with the character of Christ? If no to these things, then let’s get busy. We have work to do. Let us become the people who others respect before we start adding to the conversation.

 

  • We must become a student of speaking. I think this a point many of us miss. Speaking up for Jesus is so important and carries huge Kingdom importance, yet we barely give our training for this a second thought. I write about this in my book, Put Your Warrior Boots On, that we must yes, go on record for Jesus, and equally, have the wisdom to know when to speak. (A practical 9 points to consider for this is in the book.) One does not negate the other and in fact, the two go beautifully together and Jesus requires us to be responsible with both. We need to pray that God would give us the wisdom to know when to speak and learn from the Word what speaking up for Him looks like so that we learn from the perfect model how to do that which doesn’t come natural to the human tongue.

 

The world needs level headed, Jesus-filled, heart-led believers to point the way to responsible, civil conversations, both on and off the Internet.

No more self-focused opinions resulting in the label of a Christian jerk.

But a legit track record of love leading to the voice of steadied Gospel conviction.

It’s what Jesus would do.

Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

You Can Be a Spiritual Warrior

Does it feel like the world has gone crazy and you’re just along for the ride?

From bombings to bullying, the world has us on pins and needles—afraid for our children, fearful for ourselves, worried that we won’t have enough strength to stand our ground. But you don’t have to start brave to stay strong.

3 Ways to Stand Firm While Others Fire Arrows

You’re so strong she says to me in a weird voice, like I’m some kind of nature’s freak.

Yeah, everyone is strong until they aren’t. Everyone does well in life until they don’t.

But when the arrows start coming – the hard things in life…the character assignations…the conflict with family over faith…the strong better be not be caught resting on human laurels.

It will take feet firmly planted. A standing firm in a Jesus strong kind of a way.

If you want to know how a person gets strong, don’t look at their DNA. That kind of strong will only take us so far. Look, instead, at what kind of shoes they are wearing – spiritual shoes, meant to endure the combat of a life and death battle for keeps. Well, at least that’s what Ephesians 6:10-12 calls it (Look it up in the Message translation later. You’ll see.).

Those standing firm while other fire arrows will be wearing the warrior boots.

 

Warrior Boots of Standard

We stand firm when we know what we believe and we tell the truth (to ourselves and others). I’ve come to realize lately, with all the noise on social media, that there is a vast difference between giving opinion and truly knowing what we believe. Many words do not equal depth of conviction. I wonder if all of our loud opinions aren’t, in fact, a cover for a lack of groundedness in what we truly believe. We stand firm, too, when we raise our standard of truth in our life. Complete and total truth, first to ourselves. We can’t be strong if we aren’t free. And we will never be free if we aren’t honest with ourselves. There is no life like a life of a clean conscience. This is the standing firm life.

 

Warrior Boots of Strength

When we rise up and go on record for our faith, people can fire arrows but our witness emboldens us to withstand them, through the help of God. Action leads to strength and that strength then leads to more action. Warrior boot wearers won’t settle for a passive faith. It is the active faith, the bold faith, that qualifies the Jesus follower to stand firm in the face of difficult times without wavering. This is the Jesus strong life we all crave.

 

Warrior Boots of Trust

There’s no way to stand firm in this life without trusting God, completely. We know this, but at some point in the process, it often breaks down. Trust is not just something we fall into or happen upon. It’s a choice. We choose God. We choose to trust Him over the way we feel. We choose to believe what He says and set aside what we see that might look different. We decide to follow Him for the rest of our life, no matter who or what or when or how. Trust is more than just an intention. It is a life-long follow through.

Life is tough and arrows headed our way are a sure thing.

But we can stand firm in the face of them.

We just have to be wearing the right kind of boots.

Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

You Can Be a Spiritual Warrior

Does it feel like the world has gone crazy and you’re just along for the ride?

From bombings to bullying, the world has us on pins and needles—afraid for our children, fearful for ourselves, worried that we won’t have enough strength to stand our ground. But you don’t have to start brave to stay strong.

What We Most Need to Know About the Life We Live Now

Spoiler alert: The life we live now is not our best life.

No matter the pitch and hype speech, and despite the fact we can and should live the best life we possibly can while we are here (this I believe with my whole heart and why I would even write any of my books, I mean, really)…the earth life will never be our best life. The end.

Our real best life is the one we will have with Jesus in heaven.

But if we are reading this now, we are not yet there. So while we are still here, there are some things I think we need to know.

  1. We are not alone.
  2. We desperately need Jesus.
  3. We don’t have to feel ready to walk through this life strong.

I can’t say it better than what I already said in Put Your Warrior Boots On, Chapter 8, I Am Ready

 

“We’re doing great things, you and me. Doing hard things. Doing things we aren’t proud of (and some we really, really are). We’re loving people well and sometimes treating people less than. Losing our temper, forgetting to take hold of the battle for our mind and watching it slip from us. We’re making progress and then falling back and feeling worse. We’re crazy broken every day, but still holding on to hope in our core because Jesus.

We’re eating food that makes us happy and carrying the weight that makes us sad. We’re ending community over the table, which is the forgotten best thing, and oh, those consuming cell phones. We have pets we love and gardens we tend and places we drive and meals we cook and laundry we wash and schools and jobs we go to.

We have private pains in our hearts over loves who’ve gone to heaven and people who hurt us here on earth. We have broken relationships and friends who get it and send the text just in time.

We’re doing well with God and then before we mean to, leaving God out of things completely. Praying like mad or going days without prayer at all. We have worries, so many, even when we know we shouldn’t. We have bursts of faith that surprise us.

We have weak bodies, strong bodies, old bodies we don’t recognize anymore. We’re winning things, losing things, holding on to things too long, and letting go of things too soon. We’re crying because we are sad, crying because something turned out better than we hoped.

This is the life we live now.

One day we will start our real best life and all get better.

My friends, sorting through this hard and beautiful and imperfect life means we are human and we are not yet with Jesus. It doesn’t mean we aren’t ready to walk Jesus strong, despite the world’s mess. For the believer in Jesus Christ, we are ready, right now, through the imperfect, despite ourselves. Now is the time to lace up the boots and walk strong. We have important things to get done.

This is really the deal of life: not feeling ready but choosing to walk anyway; important things needing to get done that will require us going ahead by the power of God. As believers in Christ, it is how our whole life will be. So the good news is we can stop wasting time wishing for the magical moment we feel ready to take life on—to put on the warrior boots and walk strong. Life with the reality that our feelings never dictate what we do is a foreign concept to most of us, but it’s the way of holy release.

Jesus never asks us to feel ready; He asks us to be ready. His way is readiness of the mind, heart, and soul.

I don’t know the circumstances in your life that make you feel not ready. I suspect they are truly hard, likely some harder than mine. I won’t pretend to have the pat answer to help your particular heart pain feel better—there are things so dark and hard in this world that only God knows the depth. I won’t throw out Christian clichés and ask you to just trust God because it sounds good. I ask you to trust God because there is no other option.

What I can tell you today is that our circumstances do not need to be made right for us to walk this life out strong. We don’t need to understand them or make them make sense. Most of us have tried this route and wound up in exhaustion. We don’t need to brave ourselves into ready because brave is off the table. We just have to make the decision right now that walking Jesus strong in warrior boots is what we want and living the life declarations we’ve talked about is what we will do. We need no other information to make this decision than what we already know.

Because of Jesus, no matter what, you’ve got this…I’ve got this… even when we feel like we don’t. Even in our weakness, there is work to be done. We are ready to walk in warrior boots because we choose to walk this life out strong. We determine in our hearts that it will not be about the circumstances, but the commitments. These are things a health crisis cannot change. These are things even the deepest, darkest of loss cannot take from us. These are things by the help of the Holy Spirit we can fully be and do.

I’m praying for you today, that Jesus will come near—that He will persuade you by the power of the Holy Spirit that He has created you to walk strong, once and for all. I believe this, to my core. You aren’t ready for this and neither am I, but we are. Not because we have rallied ourselves to death or taken the “how to survive hard things” class at church or even because we have read this book. Because God. Because the Bible, which is everything we need for life and godliness. Everything. Every thing. God knew your hard last year. He knew your dark hole. He knew you could walk strong anyway.

So then, what to do in our limited, don’t feel ready life? Go on anyway. Look at God anyway. Don’t feel; believe.”

Enough said.

I love you, warrior in the making. I love Jesus most.

Always His,

Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

You Can Be a Spiritual Warrior

Does it feel like the world has gone crazy and you’re just along for the ride?

From bombings to bullying, the world has us on pins and needles—afraid for our children, fearful for ourselves, worried that we won’t have enough strength to stand our ground. But you don’t have to start brave to stay strong.

How Put Your Warrior Boots On is Changing People

Photo: @laurieglassel (Instagram)

Full disclosure moment: I am a skeptic and a hard sell.

It’s not necessarily my favorite thing to admit and a far less positive thing to be in life when it comes to well-intentioned people with good hearts that sometimes don’t get their fair shake from me. But when it comes to saving myself from a room full of unnecessary infomercial products the TV sucked me into buying one late night while flipping through channels, I’m your girl.

But when someone gives personal testimony about why they love something or believes in something or how something they bought or have in their home or on their bookshelf that they’ve read has in some way changed their life for the better, I’m listening.

The truth is, all of us love a first-hand witness.

I can tell you all day long to get your copy of Put Your Warrior Boots On: Walking Jesus Strong Once and For All. I believe in this message so strongly, and I hope by now you trust my heart for Jesus and my deep desire to help His kids. But I wrote the book. So, of course, I want you to get it.

So I thought you might want to hear firsthand from everyday friends who didn’t write the book but instead, read it – carpool moms, laundry doing, office working, college student, Jesus following – who were impacted by the words and in some specific ways. You can read many similar reviews at Amazon.com, but here are just a few…

•••

“For years I have wrestled with fear, worry, and insecurity. As our teenage daughter went to high school, the fear ramped up as our eyes were opened to all that our kids are dealing with on a daily basis. My desire to walk out a faith and strong identity in front of our girls led me to this book.

The declarations in this book have challenged me, stretched me, and given words and actions to what I had been feeling. This book is an easy read, as you will not want to put it down when you start. The only problem I’ve had is not highlighting everything on every page. If you have ever struggled with fear, worry, or insecurity, I can’t recommend this book enough.” – Jennifer

•••

“From the moment I started reading this book, I was captivated by Lisa’s words on each and every page! In all honesty, I don’t remember the last time I read a book that spoke such realness. I have marked, underlined and dog-eared more pages than I can count and have reread multiple parts because these God-breathed words are so powerful and convicting.” – Jess

•••

“When I read Lisa Whittle’s I Want God, I thought it couldn’t get any better. But then I began to read Put Your Warrior Boots On and I must say, this book has wrecked me in all the best ways. This book comes with an urgent and timely message. Lisa has a special way of speaking right to your heart but also delivering truth (even when it hurts to hear). It is high time we rise up for the Kingdom of God and stop being so fearful of things. I also love that the book already comes with a study guide built into its pages. If you lead a small group or just want to use it for personal study, the question and reflection activities are very useful.

Don’t hesitate anymore. Pick up this book. It’ll change you. It’ll move you. It’ll inspire you to warrior up. Walking Jesus strong couldn’t come at a better time.” – Amanda

•••

“‘Keep your mind clear. Raise your standards. Don’t leave your post. These are the heart understandings of a warrior boots believer, the ways in which we will become strong.’ Lisa’s book is a refreshing, pointed, and truth-filled call to strap on our warrior boots and live the kind of life God has called us to – one of abundance, not mediocrity. Her words challenge while her stories comfort and free us from the expectation that to walk Jesus strong requires bravery (spoiler alert: it doesn’t). With discussion questions, small group guides, and journaling space built in, this is an amazing book for your summer book club or Bible study – no extra books, studies, or resources required!” – Crystal

Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

You Can Be a Spiritual Warrior

Does it feel like the world has gone crazy and you’re just along for the ride?

From bombings to bullying, the world has us on pins and needles—afraid for our children, fearful for ourselves, worried that we won’t have enough strength to stand our ground. But you don’t have to start brave to stay strong.

JOIN THE PARTY!!

Welcome to the party already in progress…of which YOU ARE absolutely, positively CORDIALLY INVITED and really, are hosting right along with me!!

(Enter blowing horns and cyber confetti in which you don’t have to pick out of your hair! Holla!)

It’s the official release day of our book, Put Your Warrior Boots On: Walking Jesus Strong Once and For All, and this is indeed, a good, good day.

We’ve anticipated this day, talked about it for what probably seems like years and years, and now it’s finally arrived.

Yes. It’s our book. And yes, you are a partial host of this party. I wrote the book. But your burdens and concerns authored every page. I’ve been listening closely. And I’ve taken our cares to God and typed like mad all the things He’s shown me to help us all become Jesus Strong from this point on.

So all there is to say now is: thank you, Jesus. Use this book to create strong warriors for You.

  • If you haven’t gotten your copy, I would love for you to do so today: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook.com, More
  • If you know someone who is walking around reactionary, afraid or living below their spiritual potential, I believe God will bless you as you bless them with a copy
  • If you feel the urgency right now to grab some girlfriends and rally together to get strong, I would love for you to do a group study

It was my honor to write this book. It is my joy to watch Jesus do with it what He wants. And now, let us party like crazy over some Jesus Strong warriors we are about to become!!

I love you like crazy, and I love Jesus most!

Order Put Your Warrior Boots On!

You Can Be a Spiritual Warrior

Does it feel like the world has gone crazy and you’re just along for the ride?

From bombings to bullying, the world has us on pins and needles—afraid for our children, fearful for ourselves, worried that we won’t have enough strength to stand our ground. But you don’t have to start brave to stay strong.