If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
As I write this, the president of the United States is Donald Trump. It’s no secret that some people don’t like him and become enraged at the mention of his name. To wear a t-shirt or hat displaying his name is an invitation for insults.
In the early days of my radio career, I worked at teen-oriented radio stations. Young listeners were often vocal about their listening preferences, and whenever I wore a t-shirt emblazoned with my station’s call letters, it drew attention. Sometimes positive. Other times, not so much.
When we’re passionate about something, we don’t mind making it known. And we don’t really care what others think about it.
If you’re a sports fan, you may wear a shirt or ball cap to show your pride in your favorite team. That will often get a rise out of somebody; positive or negative, friend or competitor. When I wear my Alabama sweatshirt, it’s not uncommon to be greeted sarcastically with “War Eagle,” the battle cry for Auburn fans.
A few years ago, a Texas Longhorns’ fan was buried in his burnt orange and white (school colors) Cadillac. He had adorned the vehicle with a rack of longhorns on the grill.
Packers football fans wear cheese on their heads to display their team spirit, and they proudly call themselves “Cheese-heads.” Who am I to criticize their behavior when some of my fellow Alabama Crimson Tide fans carry giant Tide laundry detergent boxes on sticks to every game?
And how about those crazy guys who strip off their shirts, paint their bodies, and cheer for their team in freezing temperatures and snow?
I say all that to get you to think about your passion for Christ. Is there enough love for the Lord showing to invite insult?
Many of us feel compelled to hide our faith. “It’s a private thing,” we say. “Just between me and God. No one has to know.”
To be fair, many of us are shy and avoid calling attention to ourselves. But we all have a responsibility to let our faith be known. Jesus said:
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:15-16
Notice what Jesus didn’t say. He didn’t say let them see your big Bible, boast about the number of trips you make to the Christian book store, or act like you’re spiritually superior to others. The Lord wants others to see our “good deeds” that bring glory to the Father. God hasn’t called us to be spiritual snobs, but reflectors of His light onto others. That light shines brightest in good works that demonstrate the compassion and love of Christ.
Back to our 1 Peter 4:14 focus text. “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” To be insulted for serving Christ is never pleasant, but it proves “the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” It’s a blessing to know you are the real deal, in Christ, serving God, redeemed, and headed for heaven.
Nobody likes to be ridiculed, picked on, put down, or humiliated. But if such treatment results from your service for the Lord, so be it. Like Peter said, “you are blessed.”
There’s nothing wrong with being a fool for Christ. Paul put it this way:
We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. We are fools for Christ… (1 Corinthians 4:9-10)
Real faith invites insults. When it happens, see it for what it is. Proof you belong to Christ.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Why You Get It and Others Don’t
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.