What's Persecution? Writers Read post #1
Writers Read is something I will be doing once a month or so. If you've ever taken a writing class, you've heard someone say, "Good writers read". It seems so obvious but it's something that's easy to lose track of when we're busy.
It actually makes me think of a funny story about my 7-year-old son. Hudson is a gifted athlete, but when he started playing basketball, it was rough. If the ball accidentally landed in his hands during a game, he would look around panicked and throw it to anyone near him. It occurred to us that his lack of understanding of the game probably came from the fact that he's never seen a basketball game. (He likes playing sports much more than watching them.) We made a plan to go to the local high school game that week and he was really excited. But there was a snowstorm and the game was canceled. I told him that bad news and asked him if he wanted to watch a game on TV. He said, "No! At home we don't have hotdogs or suckers!" So, his interest in seeing games live was mostly just his interest in concessions. We bought some hotdogs and suckers and watched a college game. Suddenly, he understood the game a little better. He figured out that the play moves similarly to lacrosse (which he has a better understanding of). The next week in his game, we saw a huge improvement because he had seen people playing basketball on TV.
As a writer, I've made it my mission to read more. And I'm a grown up now, so I don't even have to have hotdogs or suckers to talk me into it.
In these "writers read" posts, I'm going to let you know something God is teaching me in His word and or something else I'm reading. Hopefully, you will be inspired to read more and maybe even pick up a book I'm recommending.
In the Bible: I'm reading Acts right now. I'm telling you what. Nothing lights a fire under your butt like reading Acts. The apostles in the early church were crazy! Good crazy, but still.
If you haven't read this book in a while, pick it up right now. It reads like an adventure novel. They go everywhere healing people and talking about Jesus the Messiah. And people love their message and repent. Or they don't. And when they don't, they really don't. These heroes of the faith get run out of town, or beat, put in prison, or in Stephen's case, stoned. And do you know what they do? They move onto the next place and start talking about Jesus and healing people again.
American Christians sometimes talk about persecution. But we often get it wrong. I've literally heard things like, "My kid's teacher never leads them in prayer. He's being persecuted for his faith." Or how about your neighbor who does not want you to talk about Jesus to her kids. That's is not persecution. Read Acts. That's persecution.
Get online and search modern day persecution and you'll find countless stories about Christians around the world who are being persecuted. Click on the bible below for an article that sheds light on what our brothers and sisters in Christ are dealing with in other parts of the world.
You'll also find stories about Christians persecuting people of other faiths. That's so far from what Christ commands us to do and there's no excuse for this kind of behavior.
Persecution isn't when you feel comfortable or embarrassed. It's hostility or ill-treatment. While you're online, do some research on how you can help people in those circumstances. Click on the picture below to get started.
Paul, Barnabas, Stephen, these guys were persecuted. People wanted them dead and do you know what they did? Check out Acts 5:1 "The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name."
Let's do this! Let's stop complaining when living our faith makes us uncomfortable. Let's support people around the world who are being persecuted. And if we get persecuted ourselves, we should rejoice to be counted worthy.