"Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God." (1 Peter 2:18-19, NIV)
Imagine a world where every human being lived according to the teachings of Christ. There would be no crime, no hatred, no murder. Cars wouldn't need locks, homes wouldn't need alarms, and nations wouldn't need armies. Of course a world like that is our ultimate destination, but as far as this world goes, it's an impossibility.
Which brings us to one of the hardest truths in all of Christianity: Jesus Christ calls his followers to live holy lives in spite of the world around us. I hope you realize what that means, but just in case you don't, let me spell it out for you.
It means that YOU have to turn the other cheek, knowing that it may get slapped harder than the first one. It means that YOU are called to return good for evil, even knowing that you may get a big dose of evil thrown right back at you. It means that YOU, because you follow Christ, will sometimes stand alone for what is right, when literally everyone else is choosing what is wrong.
Peter put in practical terms: if you are a slave (in today's terms, a minimum-wage worker), you are to work hard and act respectfully toward your master, whether he deserves it or not. In other words, the Christian walk is all about WHO you are, not HOW others are.
I know of no way to make this sound or feel easy, because it's just not. Jesus calls us to sacrifice simply because he sacrificed for us. This means we don't say, "Well I just did what everyone else was doing," or "My boss has treated me badly for years, so I finally got even." It's not about them; it's about you and the man who hung on a cross for you.
Every other freedom can be taken from you except this one: the freedom to decide who you will be and how you will live.
Who are YOU?