Christians Persecuting Jesus

But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” (Acts 9:1-5 ESV)

In the above passage, Jesus tells us that when people persecute believers, they are persecuting Him. We often use this scripture to comfort persecuted Christians in third-world countries. However, I recently read it and thought of something else we can use this scripture for.

“Christians: ditto.”

We naturally tend to apply this scripture to atheists, Muslims, and other religious persecutors, but we forget about another great persecutor of the church: us. I think of how many of Paul’s letters pleaded with the church to stop fighting with each other. Let me just list a few of the scriptures about it.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:1-4 ESV)

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. (1 Corinthians 12:14-20 ESV)

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (James 3:13-16 ESV)

But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. (Jude 1:10-16 ESV)

Ouch. All of these scriptures were written because of real issues happening in the church. They aren’t answers for hypothetical situations. I find it sobering yet helpful that the early church was struggling with unity back then. It speaks on how hard it is to obtain true unity yet how much grace there is for us to have it (mostly because Christ desires it so much per John 17).

Paul, while talking about marriage, gives us a beautiful encouragement for Christian unity:

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body….This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:28-32 ESV)

By the ways we treat other Christians, we can either show our love for the body or our hate for it. Every time we mock or mistreat another believer, we are mistreating our own body. However, we are doing more than that, because we are the body of Christ! We are not just persecuting each other, we are persecuting Him. This is a helpful reminder for me to watch what I say and do to other believers, for one day Jesus will judge how we treated “His brothers” (Matthew 25:40). Jesus takes how we treat His family and His body very seriously.

If we are not careful, we (believers) can find ourselves persecuting Jesus just like the world does.

Introvert To Extrovert

I don’t know why this has been on my heart but I need to obey and open up. I’ve been thinking about how I have changed in the last thirty years. Ever since I can remember, I was always hiding from people and being extremely shy. I mean we are talking painfully shy. When I started college back in 2001, I made a pledge to start stepping out of my comfort zone. I made a bunch of friends and thus started my journey to fake extroversion. What do I mean by that?


Opposite of extrovert. A person who is energized by spending time alone. Often found in their homes, libraries, quiet parks that not many people know about, or other secluded places, introverts like to think and be alone.Contrary to popular belief, not all introverts are shy. Some may have great social lives and love talking to their friends but just need some time to be alone to “recharge” afterwards. The word “Introvert” has negative connotations that need to be destroyed. Introverts are simply misunderstood because the majority of the population consists of extroverts.


1. an outgoing, gregarious person.
2. Psychology . a person characterized by extroversion; a person concerned primarily with the physical and social environment (opposed to introvert ).

I recharge my “batteries” better by myself than I do with lots of people. My husband still doesn’t believe that I’m an introvert. In reality, I just made up my mind to be a people person so that I could reach others for the cause of Christ. I wanted (and still want) to be relational. I want to love others to Jesus. We were called to make disciples. The best way I know to do that is by doing what Jesus did. He loved people right where they were at. Afterwards, He would go off by Himself to recharge with God alone. In all honesty, I tend to recharge by goofing off instead of spending time in God’s Word. I often excuse myself and say, “I’m brain dead and after being up for most of the night, I just don’t have the capacity to understand.” (note: I currently have two kids under two. Let the reader understand.)

When I goof off instead of reading God’s word, I tend to become even more introverted. I get very afraid of people and all the stupid things that may come flying out of my mouth. When I decide to give my day to Jesus, to start off with Him in my devotions and prayer time, I am much better at looking like an extrovert and creating friendships. This is because I (1) learn to be a better friend when I learn what real friendship is, and (2) have the love and compassion that only comes from having an intimate relationship with the Lord.

I remember being seventeen and watching my best friend’s mom start talking to a random stranger at a K-Mart. I thought, “How did she do that? I can’t do that. Just talk to a stranger?” Talking with strangers has gotten easier thanks to age and the four years I spent working at Family Christian Stores. At Family Christian Stores, I read all the time. I realized that people need others in the church to pray for one another out loud, right then, and not just say they’ll do it later at home. I started praying for people, out loud, which is something that has always terrified me. I found new strength and power in Christ. I started to make more friends. I even met my (future) husband at Family Christian Stores. At the time, he was just some guy who would come in and shop and I would push myself to be extroverted and talk to him.

Later God moved me away from Family Christian Stores and I worked for a theatre for a year. I learned to talk to crowds of people. (Talk about wanting to pee your pants! Oh my goodness, I wanted to die!) I began hating it with a passion but I got better giving curtain speeches. I love having material given to you to act out, but having to come up with your own lines and to be yourself is rather frightening. I’ve also done a few announcements with our Associate Pastor’s wife off the cuff at church. Looking back, there was a time I never saw myself doing that.

My heart wants to burst with all the people I see who are suffering without Christ. I still have a lot to learn because I tend to be quiet around strangers because I don’t want to offend someone. Slowly this shell of introversion is being broken open and I’m learning to walk forth in my calling as a wife, mother, friend, daughter, and leader. It didn’t happen overnight. It took me thirty years to be where I am. Though it’s a lifelong process, I believe (now more than ever) that we introverts must step up and let Jesus control our lives and help others know the saving grace of Jesus. He is the one who bought us for a price. He died so we may live. Who am I to hide that fact from another person; the opportunity to follow Christ and have such joy fill their soul; to have hope they had never experienced before?

We introverts must realize that we can be selfish creatures. It’s time to let the Spirit of God control us and help us make disciples in this world. We are running out of time.