Perhaps you can identify with Roger Maris, the man whose home run record Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds passed in recent years. Back in 1961, when Maris was chasing Babe Ruth’s record, he was maligned by the New York press. They said:
• Maris played in a 162-game season, while Ruth played only 154.
Fact: Maris had only 5 more at-bats than the Babe.
• Maris hit only one homer off a Cy Young winning pitcher.
Fact: Ruth hit only two off Cy Young winners.
• Maris was gunning for the short right-field fence in
Fact: Both were left-handed hitters. Ruth hit 30 home runs
in Yankee Stadium; Maris 31.
• Maris had Mickey Mantle hitting behind him in the lineup.
Fact: Ruth had Lou Gehrig hitting behind him.
Sometimes people are negative, critical, and categorically unfair—as was the New York sports press.
Maybe a similar thing is happening to you. You’re being criticized and your efforts downplayed. Facts are being misinterpreted, untruths are being spread, and you’re being hurt.
Join the club. It happened to the apostles. And it happened to Jesus, culminating in His execution for our sins.
Peter told us this would happen. He told us not to be surprised (1 Peter 4:12), but to rejoice at the opportunity to suffer as Jesus suffered (v. 13). As we endure it, we are blessed (v. 14), and the Holy Spirit is always with us.
Are you being attacked? Call on the Lord to help you bear it patiently and without bitterness—as Jesus did.