It is always fun when a preacher addresses just the wives or just the husbands in a congregation. It makes everyone sit up straighter, some with a twinkle in their eye. This gem comes straight from the mouth of a preacher, Alistair Begg. I heard it this morning on the radio as I listened to his message Saying No to Slander Part 2. Wives should say to their husbands, “Be what you are, Christian! You’re a son of God, and you’re not acting like it!”
I think this is a great thing for all believers to hear. Since I am not married, I told it to myself: “Stop doing the thing and be what you really are!” But that is really hard!
“9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
And people are not going to like it. Peter instructed the believers to submit to the government, honor the king (yes, that was Rome!), and silence the naysayers by their right living. It’s not fair! No, it’s not. How do you put up with that? How do you “be who you are” as a Christian in a world that mocks and cheats you?
Remember who is really in charge! Peter liberally sprinkles references throughout the text: this is for God’s favor, as God’s bondservants, in His will. And we have an example: Jesus did it first!
“23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”
God is the judge. And while lost people are mistreating us, He calls us to trust Him as God and live differently so that people will be attracted to Him. Be who you are so that people will see what they are missing – a greater purpose, a justice that goes beyond the lifespan of this earth, a place worth fighting towards.
God, thank You for modern preachers who call our attention back to You. Thank You for Peter and Paul who continue to challenge the Church to live differently no matter how unfair it is. God, please help me to live that way, operating out of a mindset that I belong in Your kingdom, and I am defined by adoption into Your family. Please help me to live who I am. Thank You for doing it first, Jesus. To Your glory, Amen.