Joni and Friends Blog

Suffering for Good


“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”

1 Peter 3:13-16

It’s one thing to mess up, neglect your duties, or out-and-out sin and be criticized for it. But what about when you’re maligned for doing good? You may find yourself thinking, How dare those people fault me? Don’t they see my generosity? My sacrifice? My sincerity? When these thoughts surface, it’s time for a biblical reality check.

The apostle Peter says that when you do good, you will sometimes suffer for it. You will be criticized; things won’t necessarily get better; and many people won’t even care. Earlier in the passage, Peter says to return undeserved insults with a blessing, “because to this you were called.” (1 Peter 3:9). Friend, this is your calling as a follower of Jesus. Not to hurt back. Not to nurse your resentment. Instead, to keep on doing good for Jesus’ sake and in His name. Sound impossible? It is! But in Christ, even the impossible is possible.

Lord, You know my heart. I hate being misunderstood or taken for granted. It stings when I feel unfairly criticized. Everything in my natural self wants to defend myself or dismiss others with a sarcastic remark. All I can do, Lord, is humbly admit this—and ask for Your grace and strength to return good for evil.

 


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