Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:12
The Bible tells us over and over again that Christians should expect hostility from the world. Too often we respond with hostility in return. What if we did things differently, more like Jesus? Imagine the impact if our collective and consistent response to persecution is to love even more. To serve even more. To count others more important than ourselves. To give sacrificially. To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly. What if this is what we did instead of firing back in angry defense on social media?
Jesus was regularly attacked, lied about, marginalized, and misunderstood. However, instead of fighting back, He kept living the life on earth He was called to, completely focused on His purpose and letting His life be the response. Peter reminds us of Jesus, “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:22-23)
Peter expects those on the outside will speak harshly against Christians. But the response according to Peter, and modeled by Jesus, should be to conduct ourselves honorably in return. SO THAT, they will see our good deeds and glorify God.
Our ultimate aim is to point people to Jesus. Our right jabs and contempt do nothing to bring people closer to their Savior. We most effectively do this by living honorable lives...lives that make the outside world pause and want to learn more. It is hard to take the often unfair and unjust criticism and condemnation. But if we are honest, wanting to fight back is rooted more in pride than love. Peter reminds us that we can have far more influence through love and honorable living.
Questions: Do you tend to want to fight back against attacks? How can Jesus serve as an example of how to respond instead?