Wednesday Word 11.27.2019

1 Peter 3:13-17 New International Version

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

Let’s face it. “Haters gonna hate,” so says Taylor Swift. Sometimes people will criticize you, regardless of your actions or motives. Look at Kanye West. The tone and apparent controversy over some of his past behavior have led many to voice their skepticism over his recent public professions of faith, made with such fanfare as he releases a new album. I don’t know the man and am not particularly familiar with his past. It is undeniable that life in our modern culture has taught us cynicism. However, I am going to give him the same benefit of the doubt I hope to enjoy. What is in that man’s heart is a matter for God’s judgement; certainly not mine.

What does this mean for us? I hope to follow Peter’s advice. I can identify with him. We all know how badly he messed up, but, he is so on target here. “In your hearts revere Christ as Lord,” Peter says to us. Know that you are doing what you are doing as a response to the incredible blessing of the grace given to us in spite of our failings. Hold firm to that knowledge and keep on keeping on. If what you try to accomplish is genuinely undertaken through the love of Christ, the opinion of the world won’t matter.

As we enter the season of thanksgiving and the celebration of Jesus’ birth, let’s remember that every act of kindness, however large or small, has the potential to reflect the love God has poured out on us…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki