“For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.”
For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently?
This verse gives us two ways we may suffer on our job. The first way we can suffer on our job is to suffer for our own faults.
The word “credit” means reputation, fame or good report. The issue here is our reputation.
“Beaten” means to strike with the fist, pummel. Masters often beat house-servants in the Roman Empire. Matthew 26:67 uses this term of Christ when the frenzied mob struck him (Isa. 52:14).
Matthew 26:67 “Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, 68saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”
“Faults” is literally “sinning.” We sin on the job when we are lazy or do our job sloppily. We sin when we spend too much time talking to other employees or talking about the boss behind his back. There is no glory in suffering for such sins as these. If we blow it and the boss demotes us, there is no value to that kind of suffering. That is not suffering for the Lord Jesus. That is suffering for our own mistakes.
“Take it patiently” means to endure or stand it. The lot of many slaves was physical abuse. In our day this would not preclude effort to change our job situation, working conditions or even the job itself. It does rule out sharp retort or getting even. Seething or sulking is not the biblical way of solving the problem.
The point is this: “What good is it if people pummel us for our sinning and take this patiently?” What credit is it to us if our employer disciplines us for doing wrong?
There is no credit to the house-slave if the master beats him for stealing. He has it coming. The credit comes only in undeserved suffering. Deserved suffering is divine discipline. Under grace no believer ever really gets what he deserves even when God disciplines us. There is no credit to the house-slave if the master beats him for stealing. He has it coming. The credit comes only in undeserved suffering. Deserved suffering is divine discipline. Under grace no believer ever really gets what he deserves even when God disciplines us.
To be reprimanded for our mistakes or sins is no honor.
If we blow it at work, we have no ground to complain about the consequences that may come. We should not cast blame on our employer. Why should we become surly or refuse to work? We had it coming to us. We asked for it. That is not grace. Our employer has every reason to demote or fire us.
Some Christians have a persecution complex. They look for reasons in their employer’s attitude that are not there. Many people think that they are suffering for the Lord Jesus on the job when in reality they suffer because they blew it. If they had been a better worker they would not get into that mess. There is no glory in that kind of suffering.