Friday, June 10, 2011

When They Speak Against You

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. (1 Peter 2:12)
Notice how Peter singles out the Gentiles in this verse? He emphasizes the importance of keeping our conduct among them honorable, but this raises the question, “should not our conduct be honorable among all, regardless of whether they be Gentiles or not?” Yes, of course. But why does Peter specifically reference the Gentiles - or unbelievers - here?

He knows that they will condemn us and our actions - “when they speak against you as evildoers” - and therefore encourages believers to act honorably among them, giving no grounds to their accusations.

We may, however, also fall under the condemnation of fellow Christians. The difference in that scenario is that we both acknowledge the same standard, and can therefore argue from that standard - God’s Word. Sadly, that doesn’t come naturally. We are far more likely to argue for our respective opinions, temporarily setting aside the authority of Scripture in favor of what we like - what we’re passionate about (or what we’re passionately opposed to).
Take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Regardless or who speaks against us, and for what cause, we must act honorably and with humility - honorably because we are representatives of Christ, and with humility because we may very well be the one in the wrong.

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