We are not to suffer for doing evil, but only for doing good. (1 Peter 3: 17) Peter challenges us: “who harms you if you are deeply committed to what is good?” (1 Peter 3: 13) implying that it is unusual to suffer for behaving toward others in a good manner. Christians who suffer at the hands of others often provoke this menace through their own arrogance, anger, frustration, and holier-than-you attitude. Peter calls us to defend our hope gently, respectfully, kindly.
“Therefore, since Christ suffers in the flesh, equip yourself also with the same resolve — because the one who suffers in the flesh is finished with sin — in order to live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires, but for God’s will.” (1 Peter 4: 1 – 2)
And, if you live for God’s will — that is, for the good of others — then it is unlikely you will suffer as Christ suffers. If you do, make certain your suffering is not for “doing what the pagans choose to do.” (1 Peter 4: 3) Make it your aim to be gentle and respectful as you give the reasons for your faith in the Messiah, Jesus.