By Dr. Clyde M. DeLoach
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
I don’t know about you, but I like to think of myself as a person of some courage. This is especially true when it comes to matters of faith. As a Christian, I want to believe that I would stand up for my faith when things become difficult.
Let me share a story with you of real courage. Sophie Scholl was born in 1921 and raised in Germany. When the Nazis came to power, she was attracted to the emphasis on outdoor activities and became part of the Nazi youth along with her older brother. Her brother served on the Eastern front against Russia and Sophie and others became disillusioned with the ideals that the Nazis stood for.
As a college student, Sophie became involved with the White Rose which was a resistance group against the Nazi regime. She and her brother began printing and handing out fliers against their policies. Eventually, she and her brother were caught, tortured, and executed. What has kept this remarkable girl in our memory was the way that she refused to repudiate her values even when faced with death.
It is not likely that you or I will be required to stand up in court after being tortured and cling to our Christian values before being executed. We have been blessed with the gift of a country where we can disagree and share our concerns without fear of the ultimate penalty.
But I would put this question to you: when was the last time that you really stood up and refused to compromise your values? We might think that supporting the dissatisfaction that is percolating in our country counts. But is that courage? Standing with the crowd and shouting down opposition hardly seems courageous. What if the crowd is wrong? What if Christian values clearly point you in another direction? Will you stand up? And what do Christian values tell us? I would say that they point us in the direction of love and freedom, in the direction of kindness and hope, in the direction of helping the oppressed. At the very least, that is what Sophie Scholl died for.