Friday, November 9
The Jesus Response
Scripture: Job 34, 1 Corinthians 4-6
1 Corinthians 4:12-13 When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we respond graciously.
Paul is describing his and other apostles’ humility and behavior in the face of scornful treatment. He says that, “God has displayed us in last place,” and so men treat them with dishonor.
They are fools for Christ, spectacles to the world, weak and dishonored. They are hungry, thirsty, poorly clothed, roughly treated, homeless, and work with their hands. And when they are reviled, persecuted and slandered, their response is to bless, to endure and to be gracious. It’s the Jesus response.
1 Peter 2:21-23 For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth; 23 when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.
Jesus left us an example. Follow in His steps. Specifically, don’t return insult for insult, threat for threat, but like Paul, bless when reviled, endure when persecuted, and respond graciously when slandered.
This is hard! Naturally, I want to respond in kind, tit for tat. You hit me, I hit back. You slander me, I talk back. Just holding in that negative response is difficult; it’s harder still to offer something positive in return—to bless those who curse (revile) you, to offer grace to those who slander you.
But it’s the Jesus response.
And it requires a change deep inside me. I not only look to Jesus for the example, but for the power. He did it; He lives in me; so I turn to Him and ask Him to empower me to follow His example. Without Jesus, I’m on my own, and I’m not so good. With Jesus, I can “follow in His steps.”
When someone reviles, pause, pray, and respond like Jesus. He’ll help when you ask.
Prayer: Lord, thanks not only for Your example, but for Your presence and power in our lives that make it possible for us to be like You.