The 3rd United States Vice President, Aaron Burr, is famously portrayed in the hit musical, Hamilton, as a politician who stands for nothing. The lyrics convey his desire to be hated by no one. “Talk less. Smile more. Don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for.” Like a many people, he managed to win the popular vote by saying very little about the real issues.
When it comes to the Christian faith, the Aaron Burr way of thinking is dangerous ground. If we never speak out about our faith because it may turn people against us, then we are just looking for the popular vote. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing. How can non-believers hear about Christ if Christians are not willing to talk more?
“If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Jesus said these words about the Aaron Burr’s of the faith in Mark 8:38. We tend to think of denying Jesus as how Peter denied him. Peter spoke out loud to others that he didn’t know Jesus and had never known Jesus, but there are other ways in which we deny Jesus.
One way we deny Jesus is by omission. By leaving Jesus out of our conversation, family gatherings, the workplace and friendships we are denying Jesus…Aaron Burr style. Why is this passive form of denial a way of life for some Christians? Because, like Aaron Burr, it will win the popular vote. If no one ever hears you speak the name of Jesus or tell of how God has worked in your own life, then there is no power to resist.
But when the name of Jesus is spoken, one of two things will happen. Either souls will begin bowing to the Name or souls will staunchly oppose the Name. There is rarely any middle ground here. That is how powerful the Name of Jesus is. God’s Word assures us that Christians will be hated, but Christ was hated first. Being bold in the Christian faith does require us to talk about our faith, we must not remain silent.
While some Christians remain silent about their love for Jesus because it may turn people away, others remain silent because they worry, they may say it wrong. But scripture assures us that even though we may stammer or stutter in professing our faith, it sounds perfect to God’s ears, and He will use it anyway. Isaiah 55:11 reminds us that when God’s Word is spoken, he uses it for His intended purpose, and it never returns to Him void.
Take time to reflect on your Christian witness to others. Does it remind you of Aaron Burr – Talk less. Smile more? If so, I encourage you to ask the Lord for boldness in your speech. I pray for you too that you will speak God’s truth in love to those around you. “Am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10.