“If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.” – 1 Peter 2:20-21
If the Apostle Peter’s admonition to believers in Christ working as household slaves in Roman society is true and right, how much more so is it true for believers in American society today?
If we are guilty of acting like a jerk, which I’ll define here as an unthoughtful, unmerciful, uncaring and prideful know it all, and if we profess to be Christians who are supposed to be following in Christ’s footsteps, then being a jerk is something we can and should have a change of heart about because Christ is none of those things! Such a change of heart (also known as repentance) is demonstrated by being thoughtful, merciful, caring and humble, all of which can be done without compromising the truth.
With all that in mind, if we endure “suffering” for acting like a jerk, what credit is that? But if we endure when we are thoughtful, merciful, caring and humble without compromising the truth… and suffer for it, then we have God’s approval. It’s this latter suffering that we can expect and even rejoice in, not the former.