A Video Bible Study:
Elizabeth George’s “Putting on a Gentle and Quiet Spirit”
Here is today’s scripture:
Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God (1 Peter 2:18-20).
And here’s today’s video (please refresh your browser if the video doesn’t appear in the space below):
I have always struggled with God (and others!) when things aren’t fair. Are you like me, dear one? Does it bother you that some people get to act cranky because “that’s just how they are”? Have you ever been subjected to unfair treatment from someone, while those around you say, “Well, you know how so-and-so is…that’s just the way it is with him”? There are people in my life who get special treatment because…they are difficult people! Complainers or grown ups with a toddler mentality or demanding Type A’s…And in my mind, right now, I am still thinking: and that’s not fair!
When I was a kid and I told my dad that something was unfair, without fail he always said, “Life’s not fair.” But the greater truth is God’s not fair. Yes, I just said that. God is not fair, but He is always right.
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills (Romans 9:14-18).
So God’s purpose must trump our expectations. In the end, we are in His Hand. And if He places in a situation with that person then it must suit His purposes. One thing is for sure, He never lowers the bar for us! He never says, “Oh you know how Britta is, she is just feeling so grumpy today, she really can’t help acting selfishly. Poor girl.”
As we saw in an earlier lesson, God’s standard for us is this: As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16). On the other hand, God’s children ARE expected to make allowances for the weaknesses of others by overlooking offenses, loving them patiently, and watching our words and actions carefully, so we do not cause them to stumble. And though this is not “fair” in the sense that we know fairness, it is fair when we remember that we have Jesus to help us. Most importantly, we should be living to honor Him, not ourselves.
And so suffering for doing good is totally fair, in God’s system. What do you think?!