As Christians, we have responsibilities to both God and people. With that in mind, we must focus on ways to do good and to be right. What does that mean?
A positive attitude among the people we live around will result in doing good. Maintaining an obedient relationship with God means we are doing what is right.
But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 1 Peter 3:16
Our scripture text for today starts with the phrase, But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Let’s look at the verse prior, to see what Peter was talking about.
And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 1 Peter 3:15
Our hope as believers revolves around the fact that we will spend eternity with our Savior Jesus. Peter, however, said we must be ready to explain that. So, how do we explain it?
We could tell a person this. If they don’t accept Jesus into their lives they will burn in hell forever. As much as that is a true statement, it isn’t very gentle or respectful. And it didn’t contain much explanation.
We could go with facts coming from the other direction. Jesus loved us so much that He gave his life for us. By accepting what He did on the cross, you can spend eternity with Him. If we don’t accept Him, then we will be separated from God forever.
Focus On What’s Right
Peter probably learned the hard way that hitting someone over the head with the gospel wasn’t very effective. Even sharing salvation in a gentle and respectful way is often frowned upon.
Peter personally heard Jesus when He gave the Great Commission. After his Holy Spirit encounter on the day of Pentecost, Peter continuously applied that Commission.
Even though many times his message was rejected. Look at what he said.
But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 1 Peter 3:14
Whether you suffer vocal persecution or a physical altercation for doing right (God’s work), He will reward you. You can, however, bring shame to them, not by a rebuttal, but by doing good.
Verse 17 needs some explanation. Some people and even some denominations feel we have to suffer for God. Even though suffering is mentioned a few times in the New Testament, it’s based on God’s will.
Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! 1 Peter 3:17
What this verse is saying is this. If it is God’s will for you to suffer, it is better for you to suffer when doing good. If you are doing wrong, your suffering is justified.
Read a related post from the same chapter called What is the Difference Between Good and Righteous?
Exhibit Good While Living Right
Do you know what the biggest criticism from the secular world of the church is? Shamefully it is the way Christians act. Peter was saying that Christians should exhibit a life of good because they belong to Christ.
Lord, we don’t want to conform to this world but many of us need to change our attitudes. Therefore help us to focus on ways of doing good and being right.
Take a moment to read all of 1 Peter 3.
Featured Image Photo by David Travis on Unsplash
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Republished from http://www.ramckinley.com.