From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
— Galatians 6:17
Larry Holmes, the undisputed heavyweight-boxing champion from 1978 to 1983, was a sparring partner of Muhammad Ali in his younger days. But every time the not-so-famous Holmes would tell someone he was Ali’s training partner, no one believed him. Holmes wrote in his biography, “I had to pull out pictures of me with him to prove it!”
Finally one day, despite all the protective gear during the training sessions, one punch of Ali landed squarely on Holmes’ right eye. Instantly, Holmes got the black eye he needed. He didn’t put ice on it, and he didn’t wear dark glasses. He went around telling people, “Muhammad Ali gave me this black eye.”
Holmes was proud of the fact that he bore on his body the mark of Ali’s training partner. And when we suffer for the sake of the gospel, we can be proud of that too – just like the apostle Paul in today’s passage.
When others chastise and insult you for bearing the name of Christ, let that be your badge of honor. Take pride that you share in the sufferings of Christ and use your sufferings to bring glory to Him!
Pray and thank God for the chance to share Jesus – and even suffer for His name!
Questions for Thought:
Have you ever suffered for the gospel? How?
How might God use your suffering to bring glory to Himself?