If one is to live a godly life, he/she better be prepared for some ridicule. The world wouldn’t have it any other way because the ways of the true follower of Christ are just plain weird to them. Paul said explicitly “…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). Peter gave us a clue as to why when he wrote, “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles— when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.” (1 Pt. 4:3-4). The point I want to make is that abstention from worldly ways looks really strange to worldly people. They often take offense to such things. I experienced this very thing after my conversion.
In my youth, I was very much a child of the world. I participated in a great many sinful practices. Upon my conversion, not only did I have a responsibility to cast those things aside, I also had a responsibility to attempt to convince my old running mates to join me. Needless to say, they did not take kindly to my new ways. At my place of work, this pressure was especially acute. It was not at all uncommon for people to try and make me stumble back into my old sinful ways. When these attempts failed, they began to make fun of me for being so weird.
I share all of this because we must decide one path or the other. We cannot spend part of our time on one and part on the other. We cannot serve two masters (Mt. 6:24). As James wrote, “…Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (Jas. 4:4). For this reason, Paul said to, “…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2). This requires that we “…have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5:11) and “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17).
It is difficult to put up with the mockery, but we must remember Jesus’ words when He said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Mt. 5:11-12). We would also do well to remember that “A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (Jn. 15:20). Perhaps I am weird, but I would rather follow Jesus down the narrow road to eternal life than to follow the “in-crowd” down that wide road to eternal punishment (Mt. 7:13-14).