Virtue is persecuted by the wicked more than it is loved by the good.
Matthew 5:10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Psalms 37:12 The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance.
A life marked with Godly character is sure to get some unwanted attention, the ungodly are going to react to what they see in my life, they will either be curious about why I am this way or they will ridicule and mistreat me.
It is difficult to comprehend the persecution that Christians endure throughout the world while the church in America is sitting so comfortably with so little conflict that is caused from being Christ like.
Persecution took place right away at the begining of history when Cain let his jealousy take over, he did not like his brothers godly character and he decided to kill Abel:
1 John 3:12 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous.
Jesus was put to death because he was not ashamed to live out his godly character in front of everyone. It is a way of life that this evil world can not tolerate, so take heed of the warning that Jesus gave his disciples, he made sure that they knew that there were difficulties ahead for living a godly life (John 15:20).
The hard question to think about is if I am not being persecuted then why not? Do you live in a way that nobody ever persecutes you? Maybe my light needs to be taken out from under a basket so that it can be clearly seen by those around me (Matthew 5:14-16).
Lord help me to live for you boldly out in front of eveybody without any hesitation.