Journal 1 Pet 2 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation and notes are mine)
Scripture: For this is a gracious thing, when, (mindful of God) one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.
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. 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. (Remember):
- He committed no sin.
- Neither was deceit (deception, pretense, duplicity) was 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.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree that we may DIE to sin and live to righteousness. (1 Pet 2:19-24)
Observation: Perhaps the most difficult thing to overcome, the reflex to not defend myself.
It is more than just “taking it on the chin.” It is handing over our natural reaction to the Cross—and trusting His Peace about it.
Application: Obedience to the Scriptures is a tricky thing.
When I think about being obedient, I think about the “do’s” that are usually emphasized: Prayer, witnessing, reading the Scriptures daily, giving, loving one another, and so on…
When was the last time I heard or read about “suffering for His sake” in my everyday life? Especially this: Don’t have the last word.
I don’t blow my top often, but when I do, I am a sight to behold. I am scary and funny at the same time—mostly because it is so out of character for me. I hate confrontation and arguments. When I am goaded into responding (me being weak, not anybody else’s responsibility) I start pounding with my words. It seems the older I get the weakness shows more.
I reminded myself this morning, that when God tests me (and He does—it indicates this in the Scriptures) it is NOT for God to grade me like in a pop-quiz, it is for Him to show me where I need to work upon—bringing clarity to the low-hanging fruit of my Sin nature.
God knew from before I was born where I would fail and doesn’t need to know any more than that. Me? Since I am blind to my sin, the Holy Spirit is gracious to make evident my sin to the face in the mirror. Process after this?
- Review and acknowledge.
- Confess to the One the primary sin was committed to: the Triune God.
- Confess to the one the sin happened against.
- Confess to a brother/sister in the LORD.
- Hitch up your belt and go again…
In this, it is only right to be as thorough as I can be—no shortcuts in confession. It is too easy to say “Yep, could have done that better…” and go on like this did not resound like a sour note in Eternity’s halls…
I just had a thought. Like Peter writes above, Jesus did not revile in return when He was reviled. What does that mean?
When I get reviled or despised or flatly done wrong (in my estimation) in any kind of measurement, and I take offense BUT I suffer quietly—do my eyes burn with rebellion and anger? Does smoke come out of my ears? Do I stoically keep my composure outside only to be whirling with rage on the inside? Jesus did none of that. NONE.
That is not “laying my life at the Cross.”
I have a lot, repeat, a lot of work to do if I want to be “conformed to the image of the Son.” (Ro 8:29) No issues; He is faithful.
Prayer: James says the tongue is a raging fire, laying waste to all around me, murderous, and cannot be tamed in the natural. Shucks, it can hardly be tamed in the supernatural. (c. James 3)
Father, grant me strength of purpose and meekness of life. Let humility reign over me. Forgive me my sin.
Ricky Two Shoes