“For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:” – 1 Peter 4:3-4
Anyone that once lived a rough life laden with sin and debauchery, like the one described in the first lines of this passage can relate to the author’s point. He reminds us that it is indeed a common and normal thing that once you become saved, repent, and turn away from your old lifestyle, the people that you use to run with will now think you strange and will even speak ill of you.
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” – Matthew 5:11-12
One thing you can count on once you become a true Christian is that people are going to attack you with their words. They will gossip, they will lie, they will accuse, they will say all manner of evil against you, but rejoice this is a great honor. Not only does this make you a partaker in the sufferings of Christ and affords you rewards in heaven if handled with humility and love, but it also shows you that you truly have changed sides in this war of souls.
It’s a good thing to be counted as an enemy of the enemy of God. Remember that the only people that never come face to face with the devil are those already at his side. Now smile at the honor of knowing that hell knows your name and is threatened enough by your conversion to pour out its limited resources against you.
Even more amusing still, is when you realize that the devil can’t win this attack unless you let him. Therefore, you can enjoy letting him fruitlessly waste his resources on you with a smile on your face and a pout on his. Simply don’t allow anything he uses others to do, to get you walking in the flesh against them. It’s not them, it’s the devil and if you want to further tick off the devil then love and pray for the ones he’s using. Now not only has he wasted his resources on you, but he’s also exposed his allegiances, pawns, and insurgents in their attempts to attack you. Thank God and pray for the pawns. In this realization you can let the flesh in others rage against you, while you walk in the spirit in peace.
“Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” – Psalms 119:164-165
Men will judge you with their lips according to their fleshly understanding (or rather lack of it), you simply stay in a place a prayer being led peaceably and faithfully by the Spirit. Seek, hear, trust, obey, this is how the faithful pray. Do not get mad at the people being used or the devil wins both you and them. Don’t get fearful or worried. Just take everything to God in prayer and press on praising, knowing that now principalities stand at odds with you but power, peace, and providence is on your side… or rather, your on His. Congratulations on joining God’s side.
“For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” – 1 Peter 4:6
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” – John 15:18-19