Alicia’s Story: ‘Time to Be Bold’

Let’s face it. In today’s media-saturated world, convictional courage is a rarity. It’s often much easier—and politically feasible—in our soundbite society to dodge a question rather than stand for a deeply held principle.

But oftentimes in history, God uses young people to remind the surrounding culture of what passionate, faith-filled courage looks like. In biblical times, Daniel and Esther come to mind.

In modern-day times, we can look to individuals like 18-year-old Alicia—a high school student in Ohio, who decided to host Day of Dialogue discussions during all four lunch periods at her public school.

Local newspaper covers Alicia's event.

After getting permission from school officials, she said “I am so excited! … Our pastor just preached [about] how God will reward us for our trials. Trials are making our faith stronger! Time to be bold.”

“I’m praying really hard that He opens up hearts.”

It seems God answered her prayers—a local newspaper prominently featured her event in its headline story. “Many students … had the opportunity to participate in the Day of Dialogue event,” the paper reported, explaining that Alicia was “permitted to put up posters and pass out flyers.”

However, Alicia and her friends also encountered the same sort spiritual challenges that Jesus’ disciples—those dedicated to sharing God’s truth and love—have always faced (John 15:18-21).

So when other students mocked their Day of Dialogue announcements with a “Satan’s Not Dead” meme, Alicia wasn’t intimidated. She just saw it as a key opportunity to dialogue—as a way to say, you’re right, Satan’s not dead, so we should talk about that because it affects your life here on earth. Here’s how she explained it to the local newspaper:

“… She said that there are always people that try to bring others down, and gave the example of a poster that was made beach-1868772_960_720in response to a meme proclaiming that ‘God’s Not Dead’ that read ‘Satan’s Not Dead.’

“Which is true, Satan isn’t dead, just like God’s not dead, so you have to touch on that too. … They’re totally right, and I totally agree with them, I just don’t agree with the decisions they make or how they choose to live their life, and that’s ok.”

How many of adults would have exhibited the same kind of calm courage displayed by Alicia and her friends? Many might have responded with outrage or even fear, focusing their efforts on public opposition rather than personal communication.

Instead, Alicia and her friends used it as an opportunity to build a conversational bridge and a connection point with classmates. Their actions bring to mind those of Paul when he noticed the “posters” of his day—altars with inscriptions reading “To the unknown God.”

Rather than destroying all the altars, Paul started a conversation with those around him, sharing about the “God who made the world and everything in it” and how God wants all humans to seek Him and find Him and “is not actually far from each one of us” (Acts 17: 22-28).  Let us pray that we can all model the same sort of truth-and-grace—combined with unflinching courage—to the culture around us.

Multicutural group of young people having fun on a tropical beach - Friends on a summer holiday looking down at camera and laughing

Day of Dialogue theme verse:  I Timothy 4:12:  “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. by Alero

    On March 6, 2017

    Amazing! Inspiring! I leave out daily devotionals at my work place lunch room, put up bible verse snippets at my work desk, but nothing as direct as these kids. May even more Christians be filled with boldness and wisdom to take a stand for Jesus.

  2. by Goyo

    On March 7, 2017

    As a retired (due to stroke) educator for 30 years, I appreciate articles such as what I saw today. Invitations to speak to youth groups and in public schools gives me opportunity to share what young people are doing and can do to lift up Jesus. I truly believe that the Lord allowed a near-fatal stroke which I “miraculously survived” (doctor’s words) allows me the time to go back into a public school system that would have fired me if I started sharing my faith with students. -GOYO

  3. by Minister

    On March 7, 2017

    God bless them, and grant us the strength and boldness each moment to PROCLAIM!
    We never will get used to the resistance; but we will always be strengthened to overcome them as they come. May the Lord order their steps and cause them not to stray from the conviction bestowed upon them.