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. 1 Peter 2:12 (NIV).
This is harsh but I’m going to say it anyway: some people need to be quiet about Jesus. Those who reject Jesus Christ for who He says He is need to be rendered silent regarding their thoughts about Him. The way to do that isn’t really to rhetorically defeat them, or by being a jerk about faith. In truth, sometimes we do need to use our words to defeat someone else’s argument but we have to do so in a way that doesn’t destroy them. You know this is because OUR purpose must be to show them Jesus so they may believe, too; that they may change. That change isn’t up to us; lovingly defending our Savior is. When we don’t have constructive words to say, it’s best to not say anything at all; I’m a work in progress with this: how about you?
The best way to defeat those who oppose Jesus is to “kill ‘em with kindness.” Me and you: we need to conduct our lives in ways that show we believe in Him, that He remade us in ways that are good for the world, that demonstrate His love. Jesus wants all people to be saved, especially those who reject Him. The best way for us to help that along is to live out our faith. Suppress our anger, show kindness and compassion, seek understanding; live out those Galatians 5 fruits of the Spirit. This is ground we’ve covered here before, so let this simply be a reminder.
A reminder like the story of the Roman centurian who crucified Jesus. We can assume the soldier who oversaw Jesus’ crucifixion had seen many men agonize, curse, and die this way. Maybe he knew about Jesus before this; maybe not; we don’t know. What we do know is that Jesus’ dying, and seeing John, Mary, and others at the cross spoke to him. It made him – an unbeliever and Roman pagan – conclude, “this was a righteous man.”
Let our conduct inspire the same.
Peter may not have realized he was talking about every day, not just Judgement Day. His words in this verse almost certainly were referring to the last days, yet isn’t it also true that Jesus comes to us EVERY DAY? God visits us through His Spirit every day so that He may work through us. Knowing that, it becomes even more imperative that we live in ways that demonstrate Him so that even those hostile to Him might say, “that’s God at work.” In this way, the concrete that traps their own hearts might begin to crumble.
For further reading: Matthew 9:8, Luke 23:47, Galatians 5:22-23, Philippians 2:15, Titus 2:8 & 14, Peter 2:13
Lord, speak through Me and let my words and actions show my faith in You.