Don’t defend or justify yourself.
“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10: 16-22)
A few things always strike me in this passage from the Gospel of Matthew. First of all, it is a reminder that suffering and persecution is certain for anyone who desires to follow Christ. Persecution is never limited to those one would expect, but extends even to members of our own families. Second, this passage is a reminder of how important humility is for the Christian life. Jesus instructs his disciples to be both wise and simple at the same time, not relying upon our own cleverness when we are persecuted, but rather to put our faith in God, knowing that He will provide all that is necessarily through the Holy Spirit. Finally, these words are a reminder of how important perseverance is when it comes to embracing suffering. When we do so for the sake of the kingdom, we move a step closer to salvation.