Do you know people, acquaintances, that you have found that talk ill about you because of your faith? In some instances, it might be a family member, who now thinks that you have lost a few. But I want to encourage you today if you are one of many who live around that kind of persecution. And don’t despair, because it has been happening since the first century. Peter writes about it: “For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the pagans choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. So they are surprised that you don’t plunge with them into the same flood of wild living – and they slander you. They will give an account to the One who stands ready to judge, the living and the dead.” 1 Peter 4:3-5 You will see this more if you are a new believer, because you have left that way of life. They will try to make you feel bad because you are now “too good” for them. Honestly, it’s just the conviction of their own hearts, and they strive to justify the way they continue to live, when they are faced with what righteousness looks like. We have had a lot of press about Christian leaders who have fallen, and the world loves that kind of story, because they use it for fodder to slander the faith, as being weak and secretly covering lives that continue to live in sin. It’s interesting to me that they claim to not believe things are sin, unless a believer is caught in doing something that the world does all the time. To them that is sin. Although true, it only becomes an issue when a Christian falls, or fails to live up to the perception that the world itself disdainfully thinks of us. But one way to escape such a dilemma, is to practice righteousness. I know we will all fail at times, but the working out of our salvation is a road, a journey, and our Lord knows that we will fail, just as He knew Peter would fail Him. He didn’t ostracize Peter from His presence, but rather picked Him up after he fell. He will pick you and me up also, every time we fall. So the falling should only serve as a reminder of how much we need Jesus to be with, and to draw closer to Him, and to know that He will be there to pick us up once we admit to our struggles, and repent and ask Him once again, to cleanse us.