Your Neighbor is a Person, Not a Prospect
Live Good Lives – Part 1
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 2:9-17
Key Verse: 1 Peter 2:12
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Today’s printed key verse is one of the few verses in the New Testament to instruct us on relating to those outside the faith. (Of course, the book of Acts gives us many references and examples of the early church relating to non-believers). In our scripture for today, the Apostle Peter makes a couple of assumptions about Christ followers and their interaction with people far from God. Peter calls them pagans.
First, Peter assumes that non-believers will give believers a hard time. It will be an uphill walk with people who don’t believe in our God. As the apostle wrote: “They will accuse you of doing wrong.” Why do they do that? Unbelievers did it in Peter’s day and they continue to accuse God’s children of wrong doing today. The main reason, in my opinion, is it makes them feel better about themselves. If they were to be honest, being around a Christ follower reveals their own sinfulness and need for a Savior.
If we are going to treat an unbeliever as Jesus would want us to, we must prepare for their subtle and not so subtle attacks on us. If we react poorly and defensively, then we diminish our witness to them. Let’s determine to look past their accusations and see their deepest need: Jesus. Remember, they are sinners and it shouldn’t surprise us when they act like sinners!
Father, I need your help to respond properly and kindly to accusations of wrong doing. Shine through me and use me to help people take steps toward you! In Jesus’ name, amen.