Have you ever heard the term, "You have to have tough skin?" Politicians immediately come to mind. It is nearly impossible that you find everybody agreeing with somebody. I am actually happy that we don't. It is crucial to have a system of checks and balances of accountability. The concept of having tough skin is that you don't let sharp cuts and objects penetrate you in order for them to hurt. I like that concept, but I have to admit, I want to be more like a duck. A duck has feathers that are waterproof. The water just runs right off of them. I am not there yet, but praying daily that God shows me how to let things run off of me, that are intended to harm me.
I have found the following passage in the Bible to be quite intriguing. I Peter 4: 12--19 says, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And, If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? 19So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good."
There is a difference between being persecuted for Christ, and being a JERK!!! Do not mistake the two. We are cautioned all throughout the Bible to preserve our integrity and character through our witness. I happen to have an Ichthus fish on the back of my car. If I cut somebody off in traffic, then my witness could be shot. I have heard people say that you shouldn't put those on the back of your car, as it will tarnish the name of Jesus. That is true, only if you are determined to live in your old ways. I am not. I am a new creation in Christ, old things have passed away, and all things become new.
Be aware that people are not going to like Jesus living inside of you. They will not tolerate and put up with His light shining through you. Just make sure that it is Him that they do not like, and not because you are a Jerk...