God’s Mission vs. Self-Preservation

This Sunday's bible reading from Mark 6:14-29 tells of the death of the prophet, John the Baptizer, who plainly spoke the truth, as he saw it, against the governor of his province and his wife and paid the ultimate price for keeping it real. And also due to the unwitting whim of the governor, Herod Antipas and his wife Herodias, a clever trickster. However, I believe that John the Baptist was an example of a man who lived his life based actually on what he believed were the words and lifestyle that God told him to say and to live no matter what hurt, harm, or danger came upon him in doing so.

Today, we often think of examples of those who now lead lives that demonstrate the love of God and plainly speak the truth in the face of the people and the systems in power that come against them as well as those, now dead, who once lived their lives that way too. In considering how they were able to do that with what we may feel is a great measure of faithful determination and integrity; we might then begin to tally up our own ability to live such a life.

Is living our lives actually based on God's biblical mission necessary to being a true follower of God? Is it possible to be a good person and to lead a meaningful life without facing the hardships that those people we admire, who demonstrate God's love with integrity, ultimately face due to their faith and single-minded life's work?

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