“…keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”1 Peter 3:16
Do some Christians face a soft form of persecution in our society? Most certainly. Maybe you are one of them. Christian business owners sometimes face fines for maintaining their values. Christian students are met with increased harassment and ridicule in schools and universities. Many who despise the gospel mock Christian claims of persecution (though actually there is a hint of truth in what is said).
How should we respond? We have a responsibility to pray for our leaders, to advocate for justice, and to ask that the church be left in peace from government interference. All of this is good and proper.
But frankly, we complain too much. We throw pity parties. This does not earn us sympathy from our unbelieving neighbors; it earns us contempt. We should rejoice in our sufferings, find contentment in Christ, and pray for our enemies. Christ did not revile the accursed cross He bore for us. He was like a lamb led to the slaughter, silent (see Isaiah 53:7). Let’s not revile the crosses we take up as we follow after Him.
Persecution is no more deadly to us than our own sin is. We can use these hard providences to serve our gracious God.