In modern western Christianity, we trend toward playing the victim and believing that the difficult situations we are in are a result of the impersonal force of the universe being malevolent toward us. But Paul notes the truth in his brief treatise. The correct interpretation is that he is the least qualified for the honor of his suffering. He doesn’t deserve it. Not because he didn’t earn suffering but because this type of suffering is not a consequence but a privilege. It is a privilege to be an example of Christ to the watching world. The discomfort that is brought is a mere snapshot of what Christ chose to endure. The outcome of such suffering, that brings glory to God, should not be possible to one who persecuted God and his body. Therefore, to be in prison, in like manner with those who follow Christ, is not mere suffering. It is suffering with a purpose. It is testimony. It is grace to be counted as a part of the work of our savior. Paul’s mindset is so foreign in the modern era.
Published by Josh McGary
MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary View more posts