Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because the one who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human lusts, but for the will of God. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of indecent behavior, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties, and wanton idolatries. In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them in the same excesses of debauchery, and they slander you; but they will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

1 Peter 4:1-5

I have heard some really bad, baseless takes on how persecution proves that one is doctrinally correct and that finding oneself in the midst of trouble with nonbelievers is a gold star of good Christian beliefs. The Scripture does indicate that we should not be surprised when the world hates us (1 John 3:13). However, we are not to go looking for trouble!

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That includes not picking fights. We ought to find common ground and show compassion with our words. If we go out of our way to look for arguments just to win them, we are all the more to be ashamed because gloating is not a Christian trait.

No what persecution proves is that we have put sin away and that, while we are still capable of committing errors, we no longer practice that sinful way of life. We put that time behind us. Now we live for God, no matter what comes our way, following Christ’s example.

Ethan Kirl