“If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!”
1 Peter 4:15-16 NLT
As disciples of Jesus Christ, the suffering we endure in life should not come from evil actions. A child of God should not suffer incarceration because they committed murder, were thieves, used drugs or sold them, or any other act of lawlessness. John the Baptist was thrown in prison and beheaded for preaching the truth (see Matthew 14:10). There is a distinct difference between suffering for righteousness and suffering for unrighteousness. When we make bad choices and suffer because of them, we should not claim that the devil is fighting us and expect others to feel sorry for us. Bad decisions always have unrighteous results. Good decisions always have righteous results. This does not mean that doing the right thing is easy, liked by everyone, won't single you out, or even get you unjustly treated. What it doses mean is that doing the right thing is always right and ultimately reaps the right consequences. One day, we will stand before God and give account for our conduct here. As believers in Christ, we must never bring reproach to our Matchless Lord's name by evil behavior. We are His children! We may suffer persecution for our faith and even get thrown in jail for preaching against the ills of a politically correct culture, but we must not be evil in our conduct or thrown in jail because we perpetrated some atrocity. As the church of Jesus Christ, let us do what is right and leave the results to God. What an honor it is to be called a child of God and, if need be, suffer for His holy name!
Rev. Curtis Norris