The Better Way To Suffer
1 Peter 3:17: For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
There are two ways we believers can offend others and suffer. We can offend some of them by being Godly and some of them by being carnal. When we offend others by being Godly, God is pleased. When we offend others by sinning, He is not pleased. Since I became a Christian I have noticed that some unbelievers watch me carefully to try to find some sin in my life. It gives them pleasure and it gives me pain when they actually find some. Some of them who have been close to me actually seem gleeful when they have caught me in some sin. If they can*t find any, they make some up. It is better when they have to make some up. They call good evil and evil good.
Isaiah 5:20: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
2 Samuel 12:14: Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
David*s sin with Bath-Sheba and his murder of Uriah gave occasion to the enemies of God to blaspheme Him. By sinning and even by the appearance of evil, we believers can give unbelievers an excuse to blaspheme our Wonderful God.
1 Thessalonians 5:22: Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1 Peter 2:12: Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
If you have received Jesus, how you live is vitally important. You ought to live differently than you did before you received Him. If you live carnally, you will cause others to blaspheme the God you love and if you live righteously, you will cause others to glorify Him. When your conscience is right, you will also suffer when you sin. Sometimes when I have heard unbelievers use the Lord*s name in vain, I have felt an actual pain rise up in me. My pain goes to a higher level when I have been the cause of their disrespect for my God. We must be sure that when we offend others and suffer it is because we have done righteous things rather than sin.
2 Timothy 3:12: Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Matthew 5:11: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Romans 6:13: Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Care to discuss The Better Way To Suffer with Ron?