Suffering with a Clear Conscience
Keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (I Peter 3:16-17)
Have you ever suffered in the workplace for doing good? A friend of mine once refused to falsify some government reports as instructed by his employer and, as a result, he lost his job. He was unemployed for quite a few months before finding another job, which caused his family a financial hardship. He suffered for doing good.
I think of another woman who was caught cheating on the books where she worked. She had actually filtered money for herself and it eventually caught up with her. She lost her job, too, but she suffered for doing evil.
Suffering is never enjoyable, whether you're suffering for doing good or doing evil. But there is a great reward for those who do God's will, who do the right thing regardless of the personal cost, and suffer for doing so. Peter goes on to tell us, "So, then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good" (I Peter 4:19).
So, if you're suffering slander or malicious treatment on your job, make sure it's for doing good not evil. And if you are suffering for doing good, take joy that you are counted worthy to share in the suffering of Christ, and "continue to do good" regardless of the consequences.
To do the right thing and always follow God's principles on my job, even if it brings some suffering into my life.
Lord, please give me the courage to be willing to suffer for doing good if that ever becomes necessary. I don't like to suffer and my natural instincts cause me to try to void suffering. But I recognize that suffering for doing good is sometimes necessary and so, if I'm going to suffer, by your grace, I want to suffer for doing good, not evil. Please help me.
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