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.
Peter is writing to Christians who live in places where they are not understood at best and are persecuted at worst. Two times he writes that in these circumstances Christians should “do good” for these reasons: So that accusers and critics would end up glorifying God and to silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Christians are to be good citizens, especially by contributing to the good of others. After a long time and having witnessed the kindness of Christians, on the day of judgement the “haters” will glorify God. Such “good deeds” can also silence those who are intentionally trying to find fault with Christians and their beliefs. Acts of kindness done in Jesus name can be the best apologetic (Ps. Dale).
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell us about God and people?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Lift up an unanswered prayer to God and ask for a renewed sense of his patience and strength.