Peter tells us that we are happy when we are reproached for the name and sake of Jesus Christ. He tells us that we should not be astonished when we are confronted with attacks, persecutions, and slanders. But more than this, Peter states, in line with what the Scriptures tell us elsewhere, that it is an honor to be dishonored, a grace to be disgraced.
Why? Peter tells us that we should be happy when this happens because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon us. To be slandered is a peculiar glory of the Christian; it is a new covenant Shekinah. Reproach is a glory.
The early Christians were reproached as cannibals. They were attacked for their purported incest, for their atheism because they did not worship idols, for their hatred of all mankind. They were accused of being guilty of first-century “hate crimes,” which are not a new concept. And yet, these Christians overcame the pagan Roman world, in part because the slanders were so obviously false. The truth about the saints was obvious to all who considered the facts beyond a mere glance. “Behold, how they love one another!” was the observation that settled the question.
And let it be so with us. Love one another. Give to one another. Pray for one another. Feed one another. Help one another. Let your light so shine before men that all reproaches recede back into the darkness. The apostle Peter also says that we should live in such a way that those who reproach us will be ashamed in the day of visitation. What is that lifestyle? Love, joy, and peace as your lives continue to intertwine.