“The seven days were almost ended when some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul in the Temple and roused a mob against him. They grabbed him, yelling, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who preaches against our people everywhere and tells everybody to disobey the Jewish laws. He speaks against the Temple—and even defiles this holy place by bringing in Gentiles.” Acts 21:27-28 (NLT)
When Lou Little was football coach at Georgetown University, he had on his squad a player of average ability who rarely got into the game. But Coach Little was fond of him. He especially liked the way he walked arm-in-arm with his father on campus. One day, shortly before a big game with Fordham, the boy’s mother called with the news that his father had died that morning of a heart attack.
The student went home with a heavy heart but was back three days later. “Coach,” he pleaded, “will you start me in the game against Fordham? I think that is what my father would have liked most.” After a moment’s hesitation, Little said, “Okay, but only for a play or two.” For sixty action-packed minutes that inspired young man ran and blocked like an All-American. After the game the coach praised him. “Son, you have never played like that before. What got into you?”
“Remember how my father and I used to go arm-in-arm?” answered the boy. “Well, he was totally blind, and today was the first time he ever saw me play!”
Paul was a Jew, but because he lived for the praise of His Heavenly Father, he did not allow himself to be persuaded by the opinions of men (other Jews from his own culture). We, like Paul, can and must live fearless. We cannot live a life that please God and a life that pleases other people at the same time. We inevitably have to choose, and like Paul, I pray you choose to live for Jesus! He is with you and will give you the courage and strength you need. The same Jesus who gave Paul boldness will do the same for you. Don’t worry about the people on the sidelines, who may be watching you, but only the One who looks from above! It is a look of love.