Submission and Suffering

Peter urged his Christian readers to conduct themselves honorably among the unbelieving in society (1Peter 2:12). One aspect of honorable conduct Peter addressed is submission.

After indicating our responsibility to be submissive to governmental authorities, he turned his attention to submission in the workplace (2:18-25). In Peter’s time and culture many people were enslaved. In this portion of scripture, he exhorted “servants” to be submissive to their “masters.” This relationship was not exactly like the one that existed between slaves and masters in twentieth century America. It is also not like the employee and employer relationship with which we are familiar; however, there is instruction found here that is applicable. We should submit ourselves to the “boss” and show him the respect that comes with the position (18) even though he may be difficult and treat us harshly. Though in our day there are laws protecting workers, we should be willing to suffer wrongfully as Christians in the workplace (19-20).

In this world often hostile to Christianity, we may suffer for doing good. In fact, Peter indicates that our Christian calling includes suffering for righteousness sake. We were called to this kind of suffering because Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example that we should follow His footprints (21). Though He suffered willingly, Christ also suffered wrongfully for He suffered not for His own sins (He had none), but for ours! Like Him we must patiently endure harsh and unfair treatment. When He was insulted, He did not insult in return, but committed Himself to His Father. Far from returning insults or threatening His adversaries with harm, He asked His Father to forgive them!