Sunday, January 26, 2014
You can do what is good and right
13 If you are always trying to do good, no one can really harm you. 14 But you may suffer for doing right. If that happens, you have God’s blessing. “Don’t be afraid of the people who make you suffer; don’t be worried.”15 But keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have. 16 But answer them in a gentle way with respect. Keep your conscience clear. Then people will see the good way you live as followers of Christ, and those who say bad things about you will be ashamed of what they said.
17 It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing wrong. Yes, it is better if that is what God wants. 1 Peter 3:13-17 Easy-to-Read Version
A friend of mine at work emails a daily Bible passage to several of her co-workers. She has been reading from the books of Peter the last few weeks. Every day when I open her email I am amazed at how Peter is so much like most of us today. Two thousand years later, how is it possible that he speaks to us about the same fears and worries that plague us.
He lived in a time and place where the early Christians were being persecuted for any number of reasons. Those who continued practicing pagan religions blamed the Christians whenever anything went wrong. Because of that, they were often driven out of their hometowns and were ridiculed simply for being strangers wherever they located to. Many of them came from a Jewish background, which was grounds for harassment in many of the areas where they lived.
Unfortunately, it is much the same in our world today. We hear about all kinds of religious fighting in foreign countries and I for one can’t keep track of it all. Is it that much better in America? I don’t live in fear that I will be physically attacked, but we are persecuted for our beliefs just the same.
The causes, the details, the individual situations aren’t what matter. What matters is that we continue to do what is right, that we don’t grow weary and that we continue to follow our Lord and Savior,
Heavenly Father, help us to remain strong in faith when we are tested. Help us to always stand up for the truth. Help us to always help our neighbors no matter what their personal convictions might be. Amen.