2 Timothy 3:12 “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
That doesn’t sound fun. Last time I checked everyone means a lot of people and there are a lot of people that I know of who want to live a godly life, myself included, who don’t seem to be getting persecuted. I mean if I really think about it I would be hard pressed to find a time in my life where I was really persecuted for wanting to follow Christ. With verses like this it seems as if suffering is an expected part of living for Christ. But, what does that mean for us today? What does that mean for me? I don’t live in daily fear that because of the way I live I am going to end up on a cross. The only real fear I have when it comes to living this way is rejection or avoidance when I tell someone about why I live the way I do. Is that the kind of persecution we have to worry about? Is someone saying no to following Christ, or feelings of nervousness when we want to tell someone about Christ all we have to worry about? Because if it is, it would seem like we got off easy.
What if we don’t see persecution, in the very real sense of the word, because we aren’t really wanting to “live a godly life in Christ Jesus?” Now, I don’t mean that people who call themselves Christians aren’t, what I’m asking is, what if when Paul said “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline,” (2 Timothy 1:7) he meant for us to get over our butterflies and worries about how it may make us look and be bold about living for Christ? What if he meant that we are supposed to love God and people fiercely? What if he meant that I’m supposed to have control over myself in all aspects of my life? What if he meant that because of the Spirit that lives inside of me I’m supposed to live my life in such a way that makes people ask “why the heck did he do that?”
What if? Man…that’s a scary question.