PASTOR'S PEN: The "right" fight
There’s a battle going on. Each side is picking up their weapons of signs, petitions, media outlets and campaigns to decide who will win. This is the battle for who is right and who is wrong. Whether it is marriage, Christmas, politics, morals or religion everyone has an opinion and most want everyone to have their opinion. But what if it is different? What if someone is not a Christian and does not hold to the same moral standard as you? How are you to act toward them? The Bible provides some clear answers …
Love them. This is the go to first answer. Christ said in Mark 12:31, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We know we should love, but what does that look like? Let’s delve deeper by looking at 1 Peter 2.
First, live as a Follower of Christ. Peter tells us in verse 11 that we are live as “aliens and strangers in the world.” He then explains that this means we must “abstain from sinful desires.” If you claim to follow Christ then you first must obey His Word yourself.
Secondly, do good deeds. In verse 12, Peter then tells us to “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.” He’s basically saying that though unsaved people may think your wrong in your beliefs and how you live them out, they will notice how good and kind you are to others. This may, in turn, show them the Christ that they need in their lives and come to Him. How are you treating others? Make it kindness on steroids.
Submit to those over you. Your boss isn’t saved, so what do you do? Show him or her respect and obey them. Peter even told Christian slaves, “submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.” Can you say you respect and obey those over you with whom you disagree?
Make Christ your example. Peter ends this section by comparing how you and I are to react with the way Christ acted when heading to the cross. He didn’t retaliate or make threats. “Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.”
If you know Christ as Savior, you were lost and wandering aimlessly like a stray sheep. But the Shepherd came and rescued you. Even though you were an enemy and hated Him, He still cared for you. You are to care the same way for those around you … those who believe as you do and those who do not.