The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:14
Usually my Quotes of the Week are quotes and not Bible verses, but this verse was brought to my attention yesterday, and I really felt like I needed to write about it. If you want to get the entirety of what this verse says, open your Bible and read 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (I only posted 14 here because I didn't want your eyes to glaze over this Monday morning!).
It is interesting how discouraged many Christians (including me!) become when an unbelieving person shuns us and our religious convictions. What is so interesting is that the Bible continually warns us that people will reject us and may even kill us for our faith. We might even be torn away from our families as they reject us, and we may suffer physical and emotional harm. The Bible promises us these things, and yet we are still surprised when they happen.
I had a coworker take me out to lunch recently. She asked me about my religion and I spoke about it briefly. Her response way "I believe that religion is the crack of the masses". Wow! I was shocked and it hurt me a bit that she said this to my face.
But you know, I should not have been surprised. The Bible promises me these kinds of comments will come my way. The Bible promises me that my life will not be easier as a Christian, because people will persecute me. Many of us may not be in physical harm because of our faith, but we may be ridiculed for taking vows of chastity until marriage, or ridiculed for not getting drunk. We may be ridiculed for not using birth control or for dressing modestly. We may be ridiculed just for being so naive as to believe an ancient and out-of-date book like the Bible. The Holy Spirit will convict us as we study the Bible, and the world will ridicule us constantly for those convictions.
But read that verse above once again. Remember that unless people are being led by the spirit as a result of their surrender to the sacrifice of Christ to redeem them of their sins, they will see our convictions and our ways as foolishness. They don't understand because they are lost, wandering around in the wilderness of life, pursuing nonsense, while you and I are being led by the Holy Spirit toward God and his ways. Remember that and try not to be discouraged the next time someone says disparaging remarks to you for your convictions from the Holy Spirit.