“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:11-16, ESV)
In writing to Christians, Peter admonishes them to make sure their conduct is becoming of a servant of Christ. There is a lot said today about Biblical Christianity. It is called hate speech, unloving, narrow-minded, and many other uncomplimentary things. How do we respond? Do we become angry, considering how we can even the score? Do we become ashamed, running into the privacy of home to hide? Do we lash out with frustration, or feel like we need to change our views to fit what the world wants instead of God?
Peter says that this is how we should respond: do good. Keep your conduct honorable. Show that there is no hate or desire for deceit within you, only the desire to obey God and keep his commandments. Do not threaten violence or rebellion, uphold the law in your life. Live as a people who are free through Christ to do what is right, good, and loving; not as a people who feel they are free to do whatever they want.
This world is not home. We prepare through our lives for an eternal place of residence. While here we will face many people who do not like what we believe and what God’s Word proclaims. Let us never respond with hatred or malice, but with love and concern for the souls of men let us be light to the world of the love of Christ and the truth of the Gospel.