Odd Things #1: Avoiding Persecution
This article was originally published as a part of the series titled “Just A Thought”
It is odd how many aspects of the gospel are counterintuitive. Since my calling is to help men understand how the gospel plays out in everyday life, I thought it might be helpful explore some of these oddities from time to time.
It is odd how we often strive for goals that, if accomplished, will result in defeat rather than victory. Take, for example, avoiding persecution.
What is persecution? It’s having your boss make fun of you for being a Christian, having your unbelieving wife despise you, being called a fanatic, being reviled for expressing your views about Harry Potter or Islam, having friends “drop” you, losing a deal because you won’t bend the truth a little, being passed over for promotion because of your stand, having people laugh at you at a party, or not being re-invited to serve on a prestigious board. Most of us spend a lot of emotional energy to avoid this kind of persecution.
Oddly, though, the Scriptures say, “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). To summarize: “A godly life = persecution.” Or to say the opposite, “If you never suffer persecution you are not living a godly life.” Or, “not persecution = not godly.”
Of course, we shouldn’t seek out persecution. That would be silly. But we don’t have too. Persecution will seek us out.
So what would it mean if we avoided persecution? Oddly, it would mean defeat.
If I never suffered any persecution, frankly, I would want to ask myself, “What am I doing wrong?”
© 2002 Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use with proper attribution.