“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 2:15-16 ESV).
I think that the world has become disillusioned with Christianity.
They see us off to church on Sunday; and then after church treating the waitress rudely. They see the fish on the back of our vehicles as we cut someone off in traffic and lose our tempers. They see us hating not only the sin, but also the sinner.
We often ignore, or worse, despise, “the least of these.” Much of the world is not being won to Christ–not due to a failure of the Gospel–but due to the lifestyles and behaviors of those who claim affiliation with it.
The world, quite rightly, recognizes the ever-widening chasm between what we say we believe and how we live.
Perhaps we are too afraid of standing out. Or we don’t want to be considered foolish, in the eyes of the world, for believing the Word and the “myth” of the resurrection.
Keith Green, a Christian musician and artist, said, “This generation of believers is responsible for this generation of souls.” I first heard those words 32 years ago and I have never forgotten them. While we may or may not be called to some foreign mission field, we are all responsible for those around us. People we know? Yes! People we don’t know? Yes!!
There are so many good reasons for doing what is right, living what is right. Not the least of these is love and gratitude to Jesus, our Salvation. We should do what is right to set an example for our friends and family. Give them a glimpse of what a sanctified life can be. And we should do good to silence the ignorant and foolish!
We are free in Christ! But that freedom does not include sinning with the intention of asking for forgiveness later. We are free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2); but that means we are free to live our lives by the Spirit and not the Letter (of the Law).
Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 ESV).
As Christians, we can’t concern ourselves with what the world will think, how they will treat us, or what they may call us. We are not hear to please them. We are here to please God. Peter said, “For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17 ESV).
The people of this world fit into one of two categories: foolish or ignorant. Living our lives according to the Spirit, doing good, being examples of lives that have been transformed through Jesus, removes all excuses that the foolish and ignorant might have.
We can’t win them by living like them.
Blessings on your weekend!
I strongly concur that if Christians fail to live exceptional lives of goodness and moral beauty, our witness in this pluralistic age will lack credibility. Obviously, we’re sinners just like everyone else. But as we abide in Christ, we can display our “saint-ness.”
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