Grace Under Fire
By Lollie Hofer
“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.” 1 Peter 2:12
Do your reactions reflect Jesus?
Remember a couple decades ago when people wore WWJD jewelry signifying “What would Jesus do?” It was a reminder to mirror Jesus’ behavior. Not too long ago on Facebook I saw this quote, “Don’t just act like Jesus; react like Him too.”
The Jewish Christians who Peter, the author of today’s verse, wrote to were closely scrutinized by their neighbors. Community members had heard rumors that they were a superstitious sect of troublemakers causing division and opposing Caesar. Their neighbors were looking for evidence to support these accusations.
Peter challenged the Christians to live in such a way that their actions caused onlookers to glorify God. They couldn’t control the rumors, but they could choose their reactions to them. Peter probably recalled Jesus’s words to “…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
If you had been slandered, how would you have responded? Several years ago, I taught at a church school where one of the parents accused me of things I didn’t do. This family made my life miserable until the church’s leadership intervened. I was angry enough to fight them; it was only through the Holy Spirit’s work within me that I didn’t come out swinging.
How do you react when you’re the victim? The Bible reminds us there is a right way to handle these situations. It’s called “grace under fire.” We can choose to walk kindly even in the worst of circumstances.
Some things haven’t changed over the past two thousand years. Christians are still scrutinized and maligned. We can’t control what others choose to believe about us, but we can, through God’s grace, choose our reactions. Our loving responses can reveal the grace of God.
Lollie Hofer is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance author, and contributor to Wholly Loved Ministries’ devotional project. She and her husband, Mike, are blessed with two adult children and three grandchildren. They live in Omaha, Nebraska. She attends Omaha Christian Center where she is involved in the children’s ministries. It is her desire for the Lord Jesus to be glorified in all she writes. You are invited to visit one of her blogs at lolliehofer.blogspot.com/.
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Originally published Friday, 14 January 2022.