“4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.” NIV

The philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, said, ‘Christianity has been made so completely devoid of character that there is really nothing to persecute. The chief trouble with Christians, therefore, is that no one wants to kill them any more!.’

He was, of course, speaking about a certain flavourless brand of traditional Christianity which he saw in his own day and culture. It is manifestly not the case that no one wants to kill Christians, and that no Christians are ever martyred. The persecution of believers is still a sad fact of life in many nations. Nevertheless, Kierkegaard’s words should provoke us to self-examination, because there is much unsalty salt here in the west.

The Christians to whom Peter was writing certainly knew about suffering for their faith. One way this can come is through social ostracism. Your non-Christian friends think it’s ‘’strange’’ that you’ve said ‘Enough’ to your previous lifestyle; that you no longer live as you did, nor want to Some may think you are strange.

I remember David Pawson saying something like this: when you become a Christian you make at least two discoveries. The first is that you’ve got a whole lot of new friends, and that’s good. The second is that you’ve got a whole lot of new enemies, and that’s not so good.

A new convert asked his pastor, ‘Now that I’m a Christian, how much of the world should I give up?’ The pastor’s reply was,’Don’t worry; the world will give you up!’

I believe it was Warren Wiersbe who told the story of a couple of girls who were known for their wild partying. After their conversion to Christ, they received an invitation to yet another party. They sent this reply: ‘We regret to say we cannot attend because we recently died.’

PRAYER: Although living your way, Lord Jesus, may mean that I am misunderstood, scorned, and left out, I want to always be true to you. But I need your help if I am to walk the same path you trod. Thank you that you do help all who look to you.