Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 1 Peter 3:13, TLV
Be eager to do good. Did anyone roll their eyes when reading this verse? If I want to be honest, I have and actually did this morning. “Who is going harm” us? Most of us have a long list of people — but really, there is only one and his crew.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the worldly forces of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12, TLV
But, he’s already been defeated, right?
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom [peace]. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!” John 16:33, TLV
So, why doesn’t it feel that way sometimes? Because, well, just like the difference between justification and sanctification, Yeshua “overcoming” the world is the ultimate end for eternity. Our “struggle” against principalities is an ongoing process. That overcoming means we have been given His power to do just that . . . overcome.
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not be afraid or worry about their threats. Instead sanctify Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, (vss. 14-15, TLV)
I struggle with the indignity and sense of betrayal when others around me take advantage or abuse the good that I do — especially friends and family. But, Peter is wisely counseling us that if we suffer for what is right, we are blessed because there’s an opportunity to share the love of the Messiah. Does that mean our Father expects us to be doormats? No.
When Jesus spoke up about injustices, He did so to help others to change. We can speak up to question someone’s behavior — to that person. Because in that process we can both learn. However, if we “hit” the proverbial brick wall, then we step back to that place of letting go — forgiving and letting go.
As I write this, I’m sweating through this process. Trying to stop grinding my teeth and getting offended for how I’m being treated. Will I be successful? I hope so. Prayers appreciated. But, regardless of working through this with a grade of A, or an E for effort, I’ll continue to try. Even when it hurts.
Why? Because Someone did it for me.