We usually associate persecution with physical abuse or imprisonment—perhaps by an oppressive government. But persecution covers a wider range of activities. A dictionary definition of persecution includes harassment and to trouble or annoy constantly.
Developing the inner strength to stand when under persecution—even subtle varieties—is an important part of the maturing process. Peter had personal experience with persecution when he wrote to encourage young Christians. He said, always be ready to give a defense . . . for the hope that is in you . . . For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (I Pet. 3:15b,17b NKJV)
A thought to consider: If we do not hold our own against subtle persecution, would we hold our own against severe physical abuse or some other type of rejection?
Originally published December 29, 1989.
Picture: Fall foilage, West Fargo, 2008. Photo by Solveig.