Sunday, June 7, 2015

persecution = success?

i'm reading a great book that is encouraging and inspiring me.  at one point, the author wonders:

"maybe persecution is the best measurement of a christian's success."

no doubt that much of jesus' teachings lead me to believe this is true!

but i'm afraid its almost impossible for us american christians to really grasp this concept at the level that we should.  we've been taught our whole lives about the importance of success, and how it's so easily measurable.

- study hard = get good grades
- work hard = climb the ladder
- climb the ladder = make more money
- make more money = nicer stuff, more security

its not that we shouldn't study hard and work hard.  we absolutely should.  the problem is our "why" we do it.  its our perspective.  our reasoning.  our longing for "success".
"success vs failure" is as obvious a reality to the western world as "food vs no food" is to the third-world.  its simply what we know.

not including jesus himself, consider the most noteworthy christian that walked the earth.  if evaluated on the basis of "measurable success" - paul failed miserably.  he spent much of his life in prison or on the run, he was mocked, beaten, disliked, and found himself cold and hungry on most days.  (his own list is a must read!)

so what made him arguably the most successful christian of all?

maybe persecution is the best measurement of a christian's success.