How we witness to unbelievers through our actions is very crucial. Witnessing means showing a righteous deed in most cases in the absence of words, WHENEVER, WHEREVER, HOWEVER in order for unbelievers to believe what we believe and in order for them to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior through our actions. I’ve said it right, yes ACTIONS. We’ve heard the saying “action speaks louder than words” As believers in Christ we should be bold in the proclamation of His Word, both in actions and in professions.
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 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 2:11-12
We are going to look into the books of 1 Peter and Colossians and see what are the guidelines set to believers by Apostles Peter and Paul on how to live a holy lives.
1. SUBMIT TO AUTHORITY / EMPLOYERS (1 Peter 2:13-14)
Most of us are employed and most of us are teachers in different education establishments in Phuket. As basic as it is, Peter gave us the guidelines on how to obey authorities, in our workplaces the authority is the employer/the governing board/ the administration. How we follow the set of policies decreed by them shouldn’t be overlooked as unbelievers eyes are fixed on us.
Policies on break time, clocking in and out, dress code, leaving the school vicinity, etc., (these are just basic rules and regulation). Yes these are basic but some of us as “Christians” still pointing our fingers to others and making non-sense excuses and arguments saying “they are breaking the rules also” when we ourselves are breaking the simple rules and regulations; are we to break the rules also set by the school authority? The fact is, we shouldn’t be pointing out to others (unbelievers) on what they do or what they do not do, because we are “Christians” and they’re not. We shouldn’t be imitating them, they should imitate us as we imitate Christ… we should set a Christ like example.
Now are we to be offended? Better be…
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority. – 1 Peter 2:13
2. LIVE A GODLY LIFESTYLE AND NOT A PAGAN STYLE OF LIFE (1 Peter 2:16-17)
We cannot define white as black, and light as darkness.
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. – 1 Peter 2:16
Peter clearly is saying that as believers; as Christians; as slaves in Christ; as people purchased from sin with His precious blood; should live a life in freedom… freedom in Christ, not freedom to continue in sinful lifestyle.
Peter said “do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil”, How does this happen in our CULTure today? Apparently by telling and showing others (loudly) that we are “Christians” and yet our actions are telling another thing. These actions do not show a proper respect to our fellow believers, our spiritual parents, our concern secular friends; and this does not honor God at all.
Change your lifestyle, one that will honor God.
3. SHOW PROPER RESPECT TO EVERYONE (1 Peter 2:17)
Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. – 1 Peter17
“Everyone” covers both believers and unbelievers; outsiders and family members. Peter said we are to show proper respect to everyone… How? One way is by not gossiping about him/her/them, if we have problem with this or that person, personally with that person… instead of gathering itchy ears to feast on personal immature prideful opinions.
By the way what is gossip? Even if a matter is true or not about one person and we talk about it and feast on it in the absence of the subject… that’s gossip.
Now let’s go to the family of believers, if we are to respect outsiders, how much more the family of believers, and how much more the immediate relatives who are co-believers. If we are called to love our enemies, how much more we are called to love our family.
4. SOCIAL RESPONSE OF RESPONSIBILITY NOT TO RETALIATE (1 Peter 2:23)
Be responsible in saying things or in posting things on social networks (offline or online). We have the responsibility to think, meditate and evaluate the words that we are going to say or things that we are going to post on Facebook or on Twitter.
The thing is we are still within the walls of witnessing, we are bound to a responsibility as Christians to filter our words that what we say or post to fellow believers and especially to the world… when we post on Facebook, we are dealing with a lot of people in the community and most of them are unbelievers and at the same time most of them know that we are Christians. What we say will either bless or curse others. Abstain from petty talks, nonsense chit-chats and vanity fair merry-go-around boasting words that means absolutely nothing.
For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. – 1 Peter 2:19-21.
If we are hurt, offended in anyway by others we do not retaliate in words or in social network, we do not even gossip about it. Deal it, accept it, endure it, and really think hard if we had our faults… bless and pray for those who persecute you!
When they hurled their insults at him (Jesus), he did not retaliate; – 1 Peter 2:23
We should be careful of our words especially when we are out there with the unbelievers, because the words we say, righteous and unrighteous words, will encourage, entertain or disgust them. And we are bearing the name of Christ remember?
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Colossians 4:5-6
We cannot put our temporal fleshly desires in expense of the gospel of peace and righteousness, and in the expense of the truth. We are called more than to be saved; we are called to witness and proclaim God’s saving gospel of peace and righteousness and it should start within us before we can ever witness and proclaim it to the whole world.
I pray that all of us will be blessed, encouraged and convicted by these words in Christ Jesus and be peacemakers by being at peace with God.
PEACE & BLESSING.