Inspiration, Encouragement & Instructions
". . . let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
I need no defense nor have I a right to be offended: A call to counter-cultural thinking
Reflections from IF:Equip passages and commentaries: 1 Peter 2:13-25 and 1 Peter 3:1-12
What struck me most about these two passages is that, if I lived upon them I would live in such a way that I would never feel the need to be defensive nor feel I have the right to be offended. This is pretty contradictory to the way both people of the church and people outside the church live.
Jeanne Stevens really hit it home to me when she shared: if I live like I believe God is always making things right (his wounds heal) that's where we find freedom, that's where we find contentment, that's why we can be open even in the midst of difficulty. His action on the cross covers everything. If we believe this we can live in a contended, non-defensive, non-offended state of being. We can trust that, "this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people." By doing good we can put those who are against Christianity into silence. Not by being loud and defensive. But by living out a life laid-down for all.
This then ties into the next passage, 1 Peter 3:1-12. And Jo Saxon points out that this way of living starts at home. Peter is pointing out that the way we should live in the culture, in order to have impact for Christ, is also the way we should live at home. The way I treat my spouse could cause people to be won to Jesus--or not. The way my husband treats me has an impact on the prayers of our home being heard or hindered.
Wow! This means that the "strategy" we are called to for winning other's over the Christ is summed up in how we live--the character we portray to those in our home and outside of our home. Secondly, it is to live out of the true understanding and belief that the cross has covered all and we are not responsible for our own salvation. Yet, we can be used to bring the message and love of Christ's salvation to others when we fully submit our everything to the living out of the belief that we are called to do good and honor everyone--because these are the actions that exhibit Christ living in us.
This is so important and so powerful and how often do I really sit and mediate on this passage: Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution...? Close to never! Or this one: Wives, be subject to your own husbands, so...they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct...Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor..., so that your prayers may not be hindered. Maybe a little more often, but not usually in light of it being out of a desire to win others over to Christ. More likely in an attitude that expects something in return for my "good behavior" toward my spouse. (If you haven't read the book, Prodigal God, by Timothy Keller, you should--it ties right into these ideas).
Please take a few minutes to read the passages and watch the commentaries posted on IF:Equip because the ladies there put these passages in great perspective with their honest and heartfelt responses to the texts. (To read through all of the 1 Peter study click the arrow at the bottom of each day's post.)
Lord, I pray that we would be a people bold and powerful enough to take the posture of servants in all of our relationships so that we would live in the contentment found in the fact that the cross has finished everything and we are called to love everyone, and honor everyone so that by doing good we can silence the voices of the darkness. Help our postures to be gentle, kind and peaceful, causing the darkness to be cleared from others' eyes. Help us to remember, "people need to hear what you are saying without being deafened by who we are" (Jo Saxon). Give us grace to walk with others and courage to allow you and others to mold our character and personalities to be representations of you--that our lives would be living testimonies of the Christ who comes to save, serve and love all men.
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Her family and friends know her as, Jaci. She is the wife of a pastor, a mom of four, writing and communications education instructor, a visionary and an avid runner. As a firm believer in the power and effectiveness of the body of Christ united together to live out the Great Commission, she holds fast to this verse, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Of equal importance to her are these words, "...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).
Posts in the Run for Your Life, series: