This past Sunday’s second reading really caught my attention. In Paul’s letter, he proclaims that he will be content with insults, persecutions, hardships and constraints for the sake of Christ.
Wow, Paul. That’s certainly difficult and I’m not sure I do that well. Did you have that same thought when you heard the reading?
Recently, someone insulted me unfairly and publicly in a meeting. I definitely felt some distress about what occurred because they made me appear like I was an inadequate leader in front of my team. It especially bothered me because I know that God has called me to leadership. I didn’t choose this on my own, and it's a spiritual gift that is bearing tremendous fruit.
About a day later, a direct report of mine reached out with a kind comment that seemed to refute what the person said. God gave me a sense of peace about the situation because He illuminated the truth about who I really was by someone who was led by me.
As disciples, there will always be people who insult us, persecute us, and give us problems. Often, they don’t know or observe the real truth about us.
How can we be content with insults? Perhaps by knowing the truth of who we are and whose we are in Christ, by listening to God’s affirmations of us in and through His word and others, and by being confident that we are walking in the way of the Lord.