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For Reading and Meditation:     Colossians 2:1-15

We are seeing the suffering and persecution we experience can be due to our own tactlessness and folly. Today I want to go a stage further, and suggest that in relation to this matter of suffering and persecution, some Christians have developed a "martyr complex". A "martyr complex" is an attitude of mind that finds strange emotional satisfaction in being persecuted. Why should this be? Well, if, for example, a person does not experience a good sense of personal worth, they become motivated to secure that worth in other ways. And one of those ways can be that of making an impact upon their immediate environment or society through taking a stand on some "Christian" issue. Now I am not saying, of course, that all of those who take a stand on such issues as pornography, violence, and other serious moral problems are motivated to do so because of a "martyr complex". That would be foolish to suggest and foolish to deduce. But it must be seen that some Christians strike out on issues, not because of an overriding concern for Christian values, but because of the satisfaction they get out of being noticed. And when being noticed leads to severe persecution, they draw from this the emotional charge they need to compensate for their low sense of worth. Such people almost court suffering and persecution, but it has to be said that they are not suffering for righteousness' sake - they are suffering for their own sake. May God give us grace and wisdom to understand when we are doing things to meet our own emotional needs, rather than out of love for Him.

Father, I see even more clearly that unless my needs are met in a close relationship with You, then I am a vulnerable person - and prone to go astray. Draw me closer to You this day. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Questions to Consider
  • List some of Paul's sufferings.
  • What was Paul's testimony?

Bible Verses: Colossians 2:1-152 Corinthians 11:16-332 Timothy 2:8-9

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