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. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.1 Peter 2:15-16 (verse 17 added for context)
Okay, you need to understand that I do not select these Friday scriptures; they are chosen for me. The gang at Bible Gateway has a Verse of the Day, and you can search months in advance to see what’s coming. So it must be a 42-at-work moment when this scripture falls on the calendar for today, a Friday in the shadow of one of the most disruptive times in modern history.
Scripture is always a good source for pointing out poor Christian behavior, especially in times of trouble and suffering. If you read this passage from the negative perspective, it implies that certain Christians in Asia Minor are falling short of the will of God. They appear to be misbehaving and using their freedom in Christ as a cloak for their bad behavior. Obviously they have not been honoring others, including the Roman political leadership, and are even struggling to be civil to one another.
At risk of sounding like a broken record…
Does this sound familiar?!?!
Peter’s words reach out to us twenty centuries later to remind us that the will of God is to do good in our lives. We are to live as people who have been freed, not by humanity or governments, but through the love and mercy of God.
Therefore, show everybody honor, including those in leadership who you don’t agree with, and be in awe of your God. By doing so, you will provide clarity and truth about who you are, and more importantly WHOSE you are.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen!Peace Prayer – Francis of Assisi