"However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name." - 1 Peter 4:16
What Does it Mean
This Kind of Suffering
I can guarantee that if you have been a Christian for a while now, you have been made fun of or insulted because of it. If you haven't, well, we will get to that. Part of being a follower of Christ is knowing that you are going to hurt because Jesus was. In fact, the Bible says that because the world hated Jesus, it is going to hate us as well. As Christians, we are called by God to spread the gospel and be an example of Christ. People are going to see that and tell you that whatever you are saying or doing is wrong but it is crucial to remember that they told this to Jesus as well. They told him that he was wrong up to the point where they killed him for it. Yet he still loved them. He forgave them and the proceeded to rise from the dead three days later. If you are not living a God-honoring lifestyle, you are living for the world. If you have never been criticized for your faith, that means you aren't truly living for Christ and you are living to please the world. If Jesus died for it, God can take us through insults and judgment. That's not meant to be said as judgment from me to you but hopefully you can use this to reflect on how you are living your life.
It does not end there though. He calls us to not be ashamed but to rejoice when we are suffering as Christians! If we are ashamed of our faith, then we are for the world and we can't serve God and the world at the same time. Sharing your faith with someone could save them from eternity separated from God so why should we hide it? We should be fine with the risk of someone disliking us if there's a chance to save someone. We should never be ashamed of the gift that God has given us and we should see it as a privilege to share our faith. We know our eternity because of Jesus. Others may not. That is why it is so important to share what we have with others because it is dreadful to think about how many people we could have reached but decided not to because of fear of being made fun of. So, I challenge you to go out and shine your light and spread your faith in a fearless way!
By: Tyler Dixon