A friend of mine told me about an incident that occurred after he attended a Bible study and was driving home. While he was stopped at a traffic light, a delivery boy on a two-wheeler rammed into his car from the back. My friend is usually a bit aggressive, so his first impulse was to confront the delivery boy and demand compensation from him for damaging his car. But remembering that he had just been reading and studying in the Bible about forgiveness and letting things pass, he decided to forgive the poor boy and let him go.
He told me that he experienced an inner conflict when he did what didn’t come naturally to him. Eventually, however, he felt an inner peace with the realization that he’d done the right thing.
God often allows us to experience trying circumstances in life where our faith is tested and we’re faced with a choice to react in a godly way or yield to our own impulses. It’s usually easier to react in the latter manner, but reacting in a godly manner develops our character and helps us become more like Jesus.
These days, we’re constantly bombarded with the values of the world around us. Society and the media provide us with information and entertainment, all the while conditioning us to think and view the world through a certain mindset. Sticking to our convictions and taking a stand for what’s right often means going against the tide. This can put us at odds with society and even result in hostility and persecution. The Bible says that all those who live in a godly way will suffer persecution.1 That doesn’t just refer to the type of widespread persecution the early Christians experienced under the Roman Empire, but can also be applied to the personal adversities, hardships, and opposition we may face in daily life as we take a stand for our faith.
Jesus also promises that those who endure hardships and sufferings in this life will rule with Him for eternity.2 Whatever this world has to offer is fleeting and will soon pass away, but what God has to offer is everlasting.3
Choosing the right path may sometimes make us feel as though we’re being squeezed into a mold, into something we aren’t naturally meant to be. It may also mean a mortal blow to our ego. But it results in a closer walk with God and helps us to bear fruit for His kingdom.4