…that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Some of us have too many words and not enough actions to back up the words. The world is not convinced with our words, because our lives are not compelling. Peter is consistent. It is not what we say as much as what they see. That is what makes the difference. Observe.
Peter wrote, “Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles (read “pagans”), so that…they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation” (I Peter 2:11,12). What will make unbelievers prepared to stand before God in the righteousness of Christ when He returns? Good works!
Some people are full of words regarding government, most of them negative. Peter, however, says, “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution…For it is God’s will that by doing right you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (2:13,14). Words are not convincing; noble lives are! Words will not shut them up; lives that cannot be reconciled with the commonplace will.
People with unkind employers feel they have the right to speak out. Peter gives another option: suffer. “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to the kind and gentle but also to the overbearing. For one is approved if, mindful of God, he endures pain while suffering unjustly…If when you do right and suffer for it you take it patiently, you have God’s approval” (2:18-20). Human Resources may come to our aid when a suit is in order. Will God?
Jesus led the way, not with words but with integrity: “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly” (2:21-23). The cross was a life laid down, not words spilled out. “But God showed his love to us…” rather than simply saying, “I love you.”
It is not what a submissive wife says but what she does that makes the difference, “so that some, though they do not obey the word, may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, when they see your reverent and chaste behavior” (3:1,2).
When we are opposed and are called to suffer, “those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing right…than for doing wrong” (3:16,17).
The quality of your life does not equal the quality of your words but the quality of your actions. It is what Jesus did, not what He said, that earned Him the worship of saints and angels for all eternity: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”