I was in 8th grade. We were in our physical education class, but the teacher wasn't around at the time. We were playing volleyball. A boy who was older, bigger, and meaner than I was kept trying to start a fight with me. I really didn't know why he wanted to fight. I was pretty confused. The next day he tried to start a fight again. I stood up to him and said, "I'm not afraid of you, but I'm not going to fight you, so leave me alone." So he did. He left me alone. That was one of my first big experiences with the ugly art of intimidation.

Think of how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego felt when King Nebuchadnezzar tried to intimidate them. They would not bow down to his idol. No matter what the King said or did, they would not be intimidated. They stood up to the king in the face of almost certain death. They responded to his threats by saying:

Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up. (Daniel 3:17-18 NKJV)

The prophets of the Old Testament told the truth whether people liked it or not. The Lord told Jeremiah at the beginning of his prophetic ministry to be courageous and stand up to those who would try to intimidate him:

"Do not say, 'I am a youth, For you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you," says the LORD. (Jeremiah 1:7-8)

We must voice our convictions.
If we aren't careful, Christians can be intimidated today. The news sometimes presents Christians as hateful people because they are standing firm in their convictions. When Christians aren't "politically correct" or are not "tolerant" of other's immoral choices, they are made out to be narrow-minded and mean-spirited. Sometimes when Christians simply tell people the truth, it makes people mad.

If enough negative things are said about us and to us, we may begin to cave in to this form of "intimidation." We will then begin to back off. We will hesitate to voice our convictions even on the most important of issues: that Jesus is the only way to a personal relationship with God. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6) Despite the intimidation tactics of their enemies, the apostle Peter boldly declared:

Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:10-12)

Don't be intimidated. We must voice our convictions and keep doing what's right, but we want to keep telling this truth in love while proclaiming that Jesus is Lord and living godly and considerate lives before all people.