Are you ashamed of Jesus?

“You’re an embarrassment to be around.”

“Please don’t walk next to me – I don’t want people to know that we’re together.”

These are painful words that no one ever wants to hear. But does my life speak these words to Jesus?  This is the question that has troubled me since my first day visiting persecuted Christians in the Middle East with Open Doors.

In the heartland of violent anti-Christian extremism, I was confronted with how openly and unashamedly Christians are displaying their allegiance to Jesus.  Crosses are everywhere.  They dangle from rear view mirrors.  They hang on bracelets around wrists.  They stand tall, fixed to the top of houses.

I encountered the most striking example on my second day.  Less than 14km from the merciless armies of ISIS, I drove past a house that was painted inside and out with a mural of Jesus!  That’s right – just minutes from people who wouldn’t think twice about burning them alive, Christians were proudly choosing to communicate “I am with Him.”

I felt ashamed.  I realised that while as a Christian in Australia I am at greater risk of being killed by a falling coconut than I am by an extremist, I am nowhere near this willing to be aligned with Jesus on a daily basis.  In fact, outside of my time at church or with other Christians during the week, my words and actions (or lack of both) often don’t declare “I’m proud to be with Him.”…

Jesus is not ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters (Hebrews 2:11).  May we be unashamed to call him Lord.

Steven Kryger, Excerpt from

Denis Oliver