Excellent Behavior in Less-Than-Excellent Times
[Scary Thought Alert]
You are being watched.
The apostle Peter exhorts us (1 Peter 2:12) to keep our behavior excellent among the unbelievers. His logic holds that though they speak against us, they will see our honorable behavior and will glorify God because of it.
Those of us who are Christ-followers, who walk with the indwelling Spirit of God, have been blessed with a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the very behavior to which Peter calls us. As those around us fall into depression, agitation, and frustration through being forced into a no-contact, distant, isolated existence, we can demonstrate the God-given ability to rejoice in all things.
But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ — 1 Peter 1:15–16, ESV
Peter’s argument is that we should be holy because God is holy. Throughout the New Testament, believers are referred to as children. We are the children of God, the sons and daughters of a heavenly Father. As such, we reflect the holiness of God as we live out our faith before the unbelieving world.
Circumstances mean nothing to us. As the apostle Paul told the church in Thessalonica, we give thanks in every circumstance because this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
The apostle Paul repeatedly paints the picture of God’s children as overcomers, as super-conquerors. We overcome otherwise insurmountable obstacles because we are partakers of the divine nature.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature… — 2 Peter 1:3–4a, ESV
We are fully empowered. We have everything we need to live a life of godliness, even in these grim times — especially in these grim times. Indeed, this is the Christ-follower’s time to shine more brightly than ever!
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 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 5:14–16, ESV
We are called out of darkness into Christ’s marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9), and now we reflect that light to a world still in darkness.
It may feel as though your sphere of influence is confined and constrained. I assure you, it is not. Shine now more brightly than ever Christ-follower.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Victoriously in Christ!