All the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman; for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage. – Esther 3:2
Haman was powerful and arrogant. Mordecai was humble and principled. Haman was Persian. Mordecai was Jewish. A clash between the two was inevitable. Under Haman’s influence, the king had issued a decree stating that all citizens must bow before his emissary’s presence. Mordecai, alone, refused. He stuck out like a power pole in a bean field. He refused to hide his heritage or his allegiance to the one true God.
While we in America will most likely never face serious harm for following Christ, we daily face the temptation to bow to convenience, ease, or an ever-changing anti-biblical culture. Relationships (family, work, or friend) will be tested as many choose to compromise rather than risk being seen as “intolerant.” While there is always room for kindness toward those who disagree with our biblical stance, refusing to “go with the flow” may cause us repercussions.
Are we willing to traverse the high road with our Master even though it is clearly more difficult and requires more effort? When obedience to God demands that we stick out our necks, do we bow, or do we stand?
The best measure of Christian community is whether people experience what Jesus is like through our skin. – John Burke