1 Peter 2:12
12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.
When discussing a “tough” sermon topic on any given Sunday morning, I laugh every time our pastor says, “This Biblical principle must only apply to me because I know ya’ll aren’t as messed up as me!” – with a wink of course. I love how we can admit that (A) WE NEED JESUS because we are not perfect and (B) we are not in this alone.
I wanted to expound upon our topic yesterday, and this passage does just that! What happens when we present as God-fearing believers yet our actions scream otherwise? Sadly, this defines hypocrisy and stumbling block of which we discussed briefly yesterday. I wanted to take this a step further by examining the implications of our behavior. Here in 1 Peter, we see a direct correlation between living honorably and reflecting honor back to the Father. Remember – it’s not about you! Your words and actions should always point others to the Savior. If our words, actions, and behavior point seekers away from the Savior in a way, we are not living honorably and therefore in sin.
This simple, yet challenging Biblical principle, is one that we should print out and tape to every mirror we own! This is a beautiful reminder of our GREAT responsibility as believers. Do you realize that you are that influential? Don’t get me wrong—not in a pride sense of the term—rather, in a spiritual sense. Therefore, we must die to self and be true servants to the One who paid the ultimately price! As you finish out this week, remember to “live properly among your unbelieving neighbors” so that they may see God ALL OVER YOU no matter what situation you are in – returning honor back to the Father.
As we dig deeper, think about how we treat our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Honestly, most of us are extra cautious when it comes to influencing non-believers. I do believe that most of us have a heightened sense of importance and awareness which helps guard our thoughts and words.
What happens when we repeatedly gossip about our fellow believers?
What does it look like when we are often quick to anger to those we call brother or sister in Christ?
What impact is felt when we are the complainers in all situations, especially when it comes to making changes in church procedures?
What stumbling block is deposited for all to see when we give very little personally and then fail to dig any deeper for an offering or church/community volunteerism?
Yes, it stings-I know! The purpose behind this message is one of sharpening. As we come together in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ask God to reveal your strongholds. Most importantly, give him the key and let him CLEAN HOUSE! Remember, the only way to a successful life, filled with the Spirit, and giving honor back to the Father is through God – “God’s Way Out!” By doing this, you are choosing to live an honorable life where non-believers AND believers alike see Jesus all over you. In the end, you want others to mimic Christ – not you! It’s time to clean house so choose God’s way out.