1 Peter 2:11-17
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 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. 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
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