Four ways to respond to persecution
As opposition to Christianity rises we need to ask: What would Jesus do?
The inauguration of U.S President Donald Trump has brought in a new era mixed with hope and fear.
Many people are afraid, especially those who feel their rights may be overturned. They have come this far, and President Trump has plans to take them back hundreds of years. People are quick to blame Christians for this outcome, and are ready to fight with whatever they have.
The fight has already begun
After the inauguration, reports say that during the women's protest that took place on January 21, some Christians, who had come out to defend the Bible, were spat on and even assaulted. This is just one example we know about. What about the many others we don't know?
At school, in your local community, and even among your friends, your Christian faith may be challenged. Those who like you may begin to have second thoughts about you. People around you might start to see you in a negative light, and this may lead them to taunt and mock you because you believe in Jesus.
In light of increasing persecution, how should we respond?
1. Keep loving others!
Jesus teaches us to love those that hate us (Matthew 5:44). It is through our love that their consciences can be pricked. Who knows, your continuous act of love and kindness may be just what will draw them to Christ.
2. Allow God to be the judge
Do not engage in violent acts or take justice into your own hands. When people come around to taunt you, walk away and report them to the nearest authority. Don’t give them any further reasons to mock your faith. Simply ask yourself, what would Jesus do?
3. Share Christ’s love with humility
Do not exhibit a holier-than-thou, superior attitude. Be humble, approachable and ready to render help when and wherever necessary. Even though you may not support someone’s sinful lifestyle, don't push them away. Instead, let them see Christ in your simple, godly lifestyle.
Everyone needs prayer. The people who persecute you do, too. And what’s more, Jesus encourages us to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44). Rely on the Spirit to guide you in your intercession.
Finally, Matthew 5:16 offers us a powerful piece of advice…
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."