As believers, we will face persecutions of all kind, but this is no surprise (2 Tim 3:12, Matt 10:20). When you decide to follow Jesus you'll face persecution from your family, friends, even "Christians." There is a price to pay when you come out from among them and don't conform to the patterns of this world. But, how do we handle this?
I recently had a conversation about this topic with my mentor this week and here are some tips we've gathered:
- Walk in LOVE
The most important tip is to always walk in LOVE! The bible says, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." (Rom 12:20) Even Jesus Himself has said, "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35). I know turning the other cheek is almost an impossible concept to grasp but don't repay back evil for evil. When someone persecutes you, but you answer back in a way that is loving, that person may very well feel convicted on their own.
- Discern the SPIRIT
This takes some wisdom, practice, and intimacy with the Holy Spirit, but test the spirit (1 John 4:1). Always remember that it is not the person you're fighting but the spirit that's operating at work in them (Eph 6:12). Whether it's pride, jealousy, envy, division, Jezebel, error, or religion at work, go back and fight THE DEMON, not the person, in prayer.
- Use strategy
Everyone is different and every situation is unique. There are some tactics that work better in certain scenarios than others. Whether you're facing persecution from your family, friends, or ignorant believers, always make sure to pray and ask God for the best way to handle each situation.
Do you have any other tips on how to handle persecution? Please leave them down in the comments below!