Then they will deliver you up to oppression, and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name’s sake.
Matthew 24:9 WEB
But watch yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils. You will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them. The Good News must first be preached to all the nations. When they lead you away and deliver you up, don’t be anxious beforehand, or premeditate what you will say, but say whatever will be given you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
Mark 13:9-11 WEB
Being a Christian is not easy.
Not because of the persecution (which exists, in varying degrees, anywhere), but because of the commitment.
See, to be a Christian is to completely surrender our wills, and the outcome of our lives, into the hands of God. (You can read Romans 12 for more about this.)
So many troubles between Christians, and even non-Christians, would just disappear if that became the sole focus of every Christian, and every church.
You don’t become a Christian for the gain you wish for in this world.
You become a Christian for the hope of the next world, the hope of an eternal one in God’s presence.
If you can establish this in your mind, all your priorities fall into place.
This all has a point, I promise.
You see, a few months back, I had a post drafted up with a nearly identical title. But the content was not identical at all.
It is difficult to look around you, especially at people you respect, and see them ridicule things that are precious to you.
Like your faith.
And it is easy – so easy – to become offended.
And it is easy to become angry.
And anger can lead to recklessness.
Fortunately, I knew that I should not post my raw feelings about the matter. So I let the post sit. And I prayed.
And I realized my priorities were out of line.
It is okay for me to be upset when people make blanket statements based on their misconceptions of my faith.
It is okay for me to be upset when people outright hate what I do believe.
But my response should not be in anger.
Because, honestly, God doesn’t need me to defend Him. And, in those situations, me being upset and indulging in an angry response is utter selfishness.
God only needs me to obey Him.
And His command has always been love.
And when it is appropriate for me to speak up, because someone’s life – either physical or spiritual – is at stake?
Well, that’s why, instead of being angry, I need to be deepening my relationship with Him. So that in those times, when the Holy Spirit wants to speak through me, I can clearly recognize His voice.
Not the voice of my own offense.
For Him to speak through me, I must silence my own desires.
I must become voiceless to hear His voice.
And honestly, it’s not easy. But His mercies are new every morning.