Are your friends surprised?
In chapter 4 of 1 Peter, it says that, “the time that is past is sufficient for doing what Gentiles want to do… with respect to this, they are surprised when you do not join with them… and they say evil things about you”.
How do you feel when you hear that? At first I thought, “sure Christian’s are supposed to be different”. But then I started thinking about it. Do people say mean things about me because I don’t live like they do? Are people constantly surprised by my life in Christ? If these things aren’t happening am I really being faithful to Jesus with the way that I live?
I love how this is phrased. I feel like Peter is being a little sarcastic here. He says that the time that is past is enough time for living like a sinner. It’s like he’s saying, “Oh, did you want to be a sinner? Well, you were. You had enough time for that before you became a Christian. Now you’re supposed to be like Jesus.”
And, to be honest, this is really convicting to me. He’s so matter-of-fact about how Christians are supposed to be different than non-believers. Our non-believing friends should be surprised by the way they act about everything. Your whole life needs to testify about the Gospel. And not only should they be surprised but they should be making fun of you because you’re a Christian. At SWO we talk about the fact that the Gospel is offensive all the time. And it’s offensive, not because we are jerks who try to shove the Bible down peoples’ throats, but because when we live like Christ, others will be convicted for how they live and take out their aggression on us.
Alright, so what should we do about this? Take a minute and look at your life. How does your life point toward Jesus? Do you have non-Christian friends who you hang out with and no one can tell that there is a difference between the ways you live? If that is the case, then you’re either just pretending or you’re not taking your faith seriously enough. If they are surprised and they do make fun of you, then be encouraged, the same thing happened to Jesus. Stand strong and use it as an opportunity to love them with the Gospel.