1 Peter 2:11-17
11 Dear friends, you are outsiders and strangers in this world. So I’m asking you not to give in to your sinful longings. They fight against your soul. 12 People who don’t believe might say you are doing wrong. But lead good lives among them. Then they will see your good works. And they will give glory to God on the day he comes to judge. 13 Follow the lead of every human authority. Do it because the Lord wants you to. Obey the king. He is the highest authority. 14 Obey the governors. The king sends them to punish those who do wrong. He also sends them to praise those who do right. 15 By doing good you will put a stop to the talk of foolish people. They don’t know what they are saying. God wants you to stop them. 16 Live like free people. But don’t use your freedom to cover up evil. Live like people who serve God. 17 Show proper respect to everyone. Love the community of believers. Have respect for God. Honor the king.
Peter gives some very specific instruction to those this letter addresses. Firstly he makes plain that the people are his friends and that they should live in a temporary mindset – i.e. as foreigners and aliens people who don’t fit in one sense. The instruction is clear – Live so that the Lord and others cannot find fault in you. How do you do that… you live in submission to the duly elected authorities, yet free, be respectful, love other believers, fear God and specifically honour the emperor.
What advice – how amazing. I love how we are to not get too comfortable – I love that we are only visiting this planet – that we are not to get so familiar that we start making temporal not eternal decisions. Without question there were problems of persecution and Peter was helping the Christians get the correct perspective for the times.
So how do I apply this – firstly – I need to remind myself, as good as life is it is only temporary. In the temporary nature of life I need to keep my wits about me and live to bring honour to God in all I do.
Father – help me keep clear that I am only visiting this planet and therefore live in a manner that honours You at all times.
Written by Ps. Richard Botta