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.
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 in 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.
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.”