From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

I serve my community — in a large city — in the department and also as a member of the city council. While I am a Christian and do my best to live out my faith publicly, I am careful not to take on-the-job time to evangelize others. Still, some of my co-workers ridicule me for my Christian lifestyle. Where am I going wrong?

— C.D.

Dear C.D.: While Christians in our nation have not had to endure persecution for their faith to the same degree others have around the world, all Christians at times will encounter some form of persecution. Remember that Jesus said that because we belong to Him we will be persecuted, but He was persecuted first. This is one of the proofs that His Spirit resides in us. As the book of James says concerning this, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3).

Our example is Christ Himself. When He was ridiculed, He did not respond in kind. Others who are watching can be impacted greatly by our poise and grace in the face of mocking. Many times these very people will seek us out to ask why we are different, why we respond with a loving attitude rather than a hostile reaction.

It is also important to pray for those who find fault because often our Christlike walk convicts their spirits and they seek retaliation to make themselves feel better about themselves. So prayer is vital. It is difficult to resent someone while praying for the Lord to do work in their heart.

The greatest impact we can have on others is to live a life that points to Jesus Christ — to be radiant in such a way that it will cause others to ask about our faith in Him.