But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:20-23 (NIV)
That is what I want to do? What do you want to do? I want to follow your example. I want to patiently endure suffering and mistreatment without retaliating. That is very good. What will happen to you if you follow my example? For one, I will stand out in the world. Why is that? Most everyone living in the world does not patiently endure suffering and mistreatment without retaliation. This is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth world. Payback is far more common than patiently enduring. Yes, it is. Why are you willing to patiently endure suffering and mistreatment. I want to live a life that is good and right and pleasing to you. I want to do what you did. I want to become like you in all that I think, say and do. Can you say more about what will happen to you as you patiently endure suffering and mistreatment? Well, I will certainly draw nearer to you. Why is that? I won’t have the ability to patiently endure suffering and mistreatment without your help. Without, your help I am more likely to retaliate than patiently endure. So, I will draw nearer to you as I ask for your power and strength. What else? I will shine brightly for you as a bold witness in the world as I patiently endure suffering in the world. As I have said, that counter culture like response will stand out and be noticed. In doing so, I will be pointing others to you. Others will see and recognize that your life is being lived out, in and through me. Your kindness, mercy and love will be flowing in and through my life. Not only will this behavior stand out and be noticed, it will also be highly attractive. Others will see the life I have in you. They will want to come to know and love you through the bold witness of me living the life you have called me to live. Yes, they will. So, as I patiently endure suffering and mistreatment, my life will bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. So, that is what I will do with all the power and strength that you give me. That will be very good.
Lord, there have been plenty of times when I have wanted to retaliate against those who have mistreated me. Doing so would ruin any opportunity I might have to be a bold witness for you in the world. Help me to follow your example by enduring mistreatment. Amen
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