Paul the Apostle chose to share in the sufferings of Christ (Philippians 3:4-12). “Sharing in the sufferings of Christ” is not remaining in an abusive relationship where one’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses are exploited and taken advantage of. Rather, “sharing the sufferings of Christ” is like this: “We suffer in likeness with Christ when we suffer ill at the hands of others because we desire and strive after the Good. As a matter of face, we can avoid suffering by ceasing to do the Good” (Soren Kierkegaard). How many times have we not suffered because we chose not to do the good and right thing?
We share in the sufferings of Christ when we extend mercy to those caught in sin; when we extend mercy to our enemies; when we speak up for the poor and dispossessed and do something about it; when we extend our friendship; when we help someone wrongly convicted; when we refuse to lash out in anger; when we refuse to cheat and lie to get ahead; when we refuse to operate from malicious motives. May we, within our abilities, share in the sufferings for Christ.