March 29, 2020
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Endurance in the Face of Pandering
It does not matter how hard you seek to avoid personal attacks, you will eventually hurt, frustrate, infuriate, disappoint, or offend someone; or you will unwittingly arouse criticism and harassment. Peter warns us not to suffer as a murderer, but if we suffer as a Christian, we are not to be ashamed (1 Pet. 4:15-16). The essential issue to ponder is the reason for the attack. Aaron, rather than choosing obedience to God, decided to evade all attacks or rejection by forming the Golden Calf (Ex. 32). Correspondingly, the believer must understand that their life is not their own to live for self-protection or pleasure but to live for the promotion of the Gospel and the glory of Jesus Christ.
Paul continued to find himself the brunt of attacks from the enemy as they sought to find a weakness in the new governor. Interestingly, in the midst of their pandering, the only accusations that held up under the scrutiny of the governors was against his preaching. They were unsuccessful whenever they attacked his lifestyle. The habits of his life continually reflected the Gospel he proclaimed. You could attack and hurt Paul, but you could not silence his message.
The lesson helps us to gain insight into the perspectives we often overlook while identifying the practice we should engage.