“So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” 1 Peter 4:19
Daily Devotional Series
Victory Over Suffering Day 10
Reading: 1 Peter 4:12-19
When my oldest sister was in college, I went to go spend a weekend with her. One of her suitemates stopped by her room with a beer in hand. I was going through a very pietistic phase in my life. I said to her, “You shouldn’t drink beer. You should try apple juice instead.” Later my sister shared with me that the only thing keeping her friend from throttling me was her presence. I thought for a moment I was being persecuted for righteousness. Wrong. I was being called out on my self-righteousness.
There are two types of suffering here and it is important to know the difference. One is suffering for your faith. Peter says that when you are faithful to Jesus suffering will come. Jesus only brought good with him and he was still rejected. Jesus even said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who are before you.” Matthew 5:11-12. Note that he says, “because of me.”
The other kind of suffering is the kind of suffering that you bring upon yourself. Peter mentions that you shouldn’t suffer from being a murderer or thief or any kind of criminal. Those are obvious. Do those things and you should go to jail. That is not Jesus’ fault. But then Peter mentions suffering from being a meddler or a busybody. Those times when we just get into other people’s business where we don’t belong. When we tell other people what they should be doing and how they should do it. When we argue with the experts. When we comment on other people’s lives with no knowledge. When we gossip. People generally won’t like you if you do those things or they’ll tire of you really quickly. If you think it’s because people can’t handle the truth you speak (which too often is simply our opinion mixed with a little scripture to sound holy), you are probably wrong.
Commit yourself to the Creator and do good.