It got me to thinking about appearances and perceptions. Have you heard the expression, "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it just may be a duck" ?(Walter Ruether)
As a social studies teacher and Christian, I don't think there's ever been a time or place where it has been easy to be a Christian. Even when society seemed tolerant or receptive, Satan never stops trying to lure us away by the cares of the world.
18 Other people are like the seeds sown among the thorn bushes. These are the ones who hear the message, 19 but the worries about this life, the love for riches, and all other kinds of desires crowd in and choke the message, and they don't bear fruit.
Mark 4:18-19 GNT
"8 Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Be firm in your faith and resist him, because you know that other believers in all the world are going through the same kind of sufferings. "
1 Peter 5:7-8 GNT
Frankly, Dear Reader, there are times when I think I need crutches to stay upright, or in line with who I say I am. Then I remember. That's the whole reason Jesus came, isn't it? Listen to how the writer of Proverbs puts it in the Voice translation:
5 Place your trust in the Eternal; rely on Him completely;
never depend upon your own ideas and inventions.
6 Give Him the credit for everything you accomplish,
and He will smooth out and straighten the road that lies ahead.
Proverbs 3:5-6 VOICE