“Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (II Timothy 3:12)
When one reads the Beatitudes (Matthew 5), one can’t help but wonder why a Christian wouldn’t live a perfectly calm, untroubled life. “Blessed are the meek ... the pure in heart ... the peacemakers ...” Yet Paul writes clearly, as Jesus warned his disciples equally clearly, that everyone who seeks to live godly will be persecuted. But why? If Christian are called to live the fruits of the Spirit -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control -- who could argue with that?
Anyone. Sometimes, almost everyone … because accepting the lordship of Jesus Christ sets us adamantly opposed to the world we are living in. A world where “adult gift stores” are in every town, where justice is made a mockery of in our courts, and where children are taught that sex is just another appetite to feed. A society that condones abortion, turns its face from the poor and homeless, and gluts itself on pleasure. A culture that addicts itself to alcohol, drugs, violence, gossip, slander, and greed. A cosmos whose spiraling center is self.
Do not wonder what is wrong, then, if you are rejected, insulted, degraded, humiliated, and persecuted. Only wonder if you are not.