The Apostle Paul informs Timothy that the Christian lifestyle will not be easy. In fact, persecution will come. This statement strikes against the face of those who proclaim the Christian life will not have any troubles. Let’s quickly examine this text against our lifestyle today.
A woman wrote me about one of my blogs. She informed me that the Christian life is easy. We only have to trust Jesus. I spoke with her so that I could fully understand her position. We talked about the life of several biblical characters. I showed her they didn’t live a “name it and claim it” lifestyle. Nor did they live without any problems. I also showed her that Jesus warned us that trails and tribulations will follow us when we chose to follow Christ. I also pointed her to hundreds of examples of modern-day Christian Martyr. This isn’t to say every Christian is suffering.
Christians have, at times, been looked at as being old fashion and uptight when we speak against adultery or pre-marital sex. We are to stay faithful to our spouses and if we aren’t married we are to be pure. (Heb 13:4)
We speak about and live a life of integrity in all our dealings. One comment that still rings in my mind is, “You must take care of yourself because it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.” This isn’t how we live. In act, we live opposite of that type of life. We are to help and think of others. (Phil 2:3)
We are viewed as intolerant if we don’t accept unbelievers thoughts on our God. Ironically, they aren’t looked at as intolerant. (John 6:47). Simply put: There is only One Way.
I don’t believe a month goes by that shows like Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show have degrading jokes about Christians and our beliefs. As a comedian, it’s smart to do so. We are easy targets while groups such as Muslims aren’t. In fact, there is an uproar when someone disrespect Islam. An irony that isn’t talked about is the fact one could be put to death for disrespecting their religion. This isn’t how our Lord operates. Despite these things, we must stand strong. In short, it’s okay culturally to demean Christianity. This doesn’t help us in attracting people to our way of living.
A quick internet search will help you see where many organizations are pressured to take stances contrary to our beliefs.
These few examples should show you Christians will, not might, be at odds with unbelievers on a series of issues. This can be uncomfortable. We are called to be a different type of citizen. We are a royal priesthood (1 Pet 2:9). My seminary professor made a statement in my very first class. I’ll paraphrase what he said, “If you’re living a comfortable Christian lifestyle then you might not be living a Christian lifestyle.” His intent was to remind us that Christians live counter-culture to society. As such, there should be friction. Light and dark simply don’t coexist.
Take this week and see if your life is in line with what Scripture says, not what you or an unbeliever thinks. Remember, our worldview is Christ-centric, not self-centric. We are Monotheism, not Polytheism in our beliefs and stance.
The woman who wrote me made a great point. We must trust in our Lord. The situation might not look good. In fact, it might be a painful situation. However, everything will be well with us as we lean on Him. We must be reminded of the words to Joshua. Although the situation is different, I believe we can be strengthened the following Scripture. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut 31:6.