It is way too easy to get caught up in the world around us and forget that others see what you are doing. If you are a Christian, this is even more true. People are watching what choices you make and making decisions about their faith based off of what they see.
People are Watching
Have you ever heard someone say that they don’t go to church because all Christians are hypocrites? Well, of course, this is an exaggeration because they clearly have not met every Christian. What is also obvious is that they have met at least one that led him to make that determination.
The Bible verse we are talking about today is just one example where Christians are told to watch the things that we do because people are watching. 1 Peter 2:12 gives us that exact warning.
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.
1 Peter 2:12
Break Down the Verse
“Live such good lives among the pagans…”
This part of the verse sounds complex and to some maybe even harsh but this statement is actually simple. It means to resist the temptations that the world offers. There are many instances where God tells us that we are to be set apart from the world. (a few examples are: 1 John 4:4-5, Psalm 4:3, Revelation 18:4)
The phrasing of this says even more to me though. It says that not are we only to be set apart but we are to strive to be better than the things around us. I think we are being told to strive to live even better than just not taking part in the sin around us.'Our relationship to God will be a living testimony about how good God is.'
“…though they accuse you of doing wrong…”
This part of the verse is warning us that nonbelievers will accuse us of doing wrong, much like the person I mentioned earlier is doing. This is also reminding us that people are watching our actions. They are watching for us to fail in our Christian walk so that they can accuse us.
Why do nonbelievers what to accuse us? They actually need to accuse us so that they can use our failings to justify their unbelief. It is also important to know that they are watching our walk with God to see how deeply our relationship with God does impact our lives.
This phrase says they accuse “you” but I think it means it in a plural form. I feel this means that they accuse ALL Christians so that when one falls, they all stand accused.
“…they may see your good deeds…”
This statement can be a bit confusing because in Ephesians 2:8-9 we are told that we are not saved according to our works. So, it is important to state that the works here are not what will get you into Heaven. These are the works that will allow others to see God working in your life.
“…and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
This is the “why” portion of the verse. We should do good deeds so that our actions Glorify God. In other words, our relationship to God will be a living testimony about how good God is. It leaves no room for nonbelievers to doubt God.
Sum It Up
We should strive to live good lives even though we are living in a corrupt world. The lives that we live will stand as a living testimony to God’s mercy and grace. The works that we do will be living proof of God working through our lives.
This is important because people are watching how we live our life. As we stand, proclaiming ourselves as Christians, we need to be cautious that our deeds also proclaim our faith. When we do that, God is glorified.
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- Handling the Storm of Failure