Scripture: 1 Peter 2:21-25
21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23When 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. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Jesus’ example of bearing up under suffering:
He committed no sin.
No deceit came from his mouth.
When he was reviled (dissed — disprespected), he did not revile (dis) in return.
He did not utter threats.
He entrusted himself to God who judges justly.
Strange thing. If the “normal” reactions kick in, a person yelling at you on the phone will soon have you yelling too. Shame me and I will shame you. Dis me and I will dis you. Yell at me and I will yell at you. Threaten me and I will threaten you. And so the cycle continues.
Moving into our relationships and this world with a perspective informed by the cross of Jesus transforms how we respond to mis-treatment. Its a series of choices not just gut-reactions. This is what the Gospel does for the “dissed:” We can face the conflict with people without turning it into combat. We can set boundaries that raise the level of respect required (like turning the other cheek and going the extra mile.) We are to raise the bar on human behaviour.
Why? Because we have entrusted ourselves to God who judges justly. Why? Because we have a Lord who suffered fools and folly for us at the cross.
Heavenly Father help! Enlarge my vision of grace and the Gospel. AMEN.