READ : 1 Peter 2:18-25
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. (v. 21 NIV)
As followers of Jesus we are called to continue to do good even while we suffer
unjustly. In trying circumstances, it is extremely tempting either to return evil for
evil, lashing out and hating, or to sink into passivity, fueling a slow burn and growing
bitter. But we are called, instead, to continue to do good, not because it’s strategically
wise, but because it is in step with the ways of God’s heart as disclosed in the cross of
“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” (2:23 NIV).
This does not mean that we must remain in an abusive situation or not demand justice.
Rather, it means that we must not let the evil we experience take root in our hearts so
that it colors and determines our response.
Consider the testimony of one Christian witness who was arrested and tortured during
the Joseph Stalin purges in Russia. Her name is Julia de Beausobre. She wrote in her book
Creative Suffering that when you forgive your tormentors and do not hate in response you
not only preserve your own soul (hate does terrible things to us), but you also inject
into that darkness “a kindness to them,” which is a thing of precious beauty. “This is
commendable before God” (1:20).
Dear God, may our hearts be full of Christ’s love. Amen.