On Suffering

19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

 

So often, Christians and others alike are obsessed with asserting and defending our rights. It is the American thing to do! “Don’t tread on me!”

Reading this passage, I was reminded this morning that sometimes, I shouldn’t be so quick to defend myself or explain my position, even if I totally believe in it. After all, “Christ committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”

I think sometimes we (I) have the attitude of the unjustly persecuted victim, beating our chests defiantly and determined to “make a stand.” But I don’t think that we can support this attitude everything. We must carefully follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in order that we don’t destroy opportunities to witness, and we must rely on God to be in control, not attempting to wrest control from Him.

There are things that I am interpreting as personal attacks from time to time. May God be glorified in my response, and may my outlook and attitude be directed toward the faithfulness of God instead of my own sense of righteous indignation.

Ultimately, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20, ESV).”

I believe in my Spirit that sometimes, this includes our “right” to “be right.”

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3 thoughts on “On Suffering

  1. Isabel says:

    When I read Jesus’ words its really tough to be a Christian! So, just when I was learning to trust God and I didn’t know how, I prayed to God to show me how to trust Him; so it is now, that I ask Jesus to show me how to be more like He wants me to be. What a job Jesus has reshaping this hard head!!! Thanks for the teaching!

  2. Isabel says:

    I’m so mundane. I seem to see things a projects or a list. I check it off, its done. But not so with this Christian walk. Its never done, Its always new, There’s always more, The Load looks Ginormous and Too Much, But Then — Its not. The more I bend, the more He holds me. Its quite different and exhilerating!

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