Tuesday, November 24, 2015

NOVEMBER 24 "PETER YOU INSULT ME!"

  Well, it sounds like “unbelievers” have been trying to trash talk Christians for a couple of thousand years; and to think I thought this was only happening to us, here in the 21st century. Glad to see, nothing has changed….., neighbors, co-workers, relatives are always waiting for the day when we are going to slip, mess up or say something we shouldn't have said; and when we do,  you can count on it, everybody is going to know about it.  It’s interesting to see that nothing has changed in the past 2000 years. However, what I do take issue is Peter eluding to the thought, that I, might behave in such a way that would give my neighbor, justifiable cause, to have slander against me. I’m insulted and I’m sure so are you, that Peter feels like he has to write this and caution us to “act & behave” like Christians in front of our unbelieving neighbors!
Verse 12, “be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors”.  Are you just as offended as I am today? I mean, what is Peter implying!?!?  Do you think Peter is implying that there are times that my neighbor might have justifiable cause against my profession that I am a good Christian man? Now I’m thinking…..if Peter is talking about that time that my wife and I were “having it out” over finances and all the windows in the house were open and of course the whole neighborhood was listening. Okay, alright, maybe one time that happened.  Wait now…..maybe Peter is talking about the time I got out of the car and slammed the door and was yelling at my daughter? I wonder if Peter is talking about that time we were late for church and we were all fighting, yelling and blaming each other as we got into the car, slammed the doors and screeched off to church. Oh no…..is Peter talking about that time my girlfriend slept over and the neighbors saw her leave early in the morning, of course nothing happened, and every neighbor, of course is going to believe that. I wonder if Peter is talking about that time we had the great family gathering and all our unsaved family (and some saved) were pouring into our home with their cases of beer and leaving our home quite intoxicated and getting behind the wheel of the car (well what do you want me to do, I wasn’t drinking, I can’t control them, they’re grown adults!)  Now I’m wondering if Peter is talking about the time my son was parked in our driveway, for over an hour, with his girlfriend in the car,  surely they know,  that they were just “talking”, at least I hope they were just talking.  Alright, there is that one time, the neighbors did call the cops and they had to come to our house for a domestic violence call. Things got out of hand, I’ll admit, but that was a one time thing!”

            I could go on all day, couldn't I, about our indiscretions.  The reality is, if you have lived for God for any length of time, you will see and hear of conduct that is quite “unbecoming” of one that claims to be a Christian. So in essence, Peter is not out of line, as a Leader in the Church of Jerusalem, one who has seen and heard it all, no doubt, to reach out to his brethren and caution them, “don’t give your neighbor(s) any reason to accuse you”. We all need this and if you are insulted by it you are probably the worse offender! We all need to Word of God to show us who we are and who we are capable of being. The Christian who claims to never have displayed, “unbecoming” Christian conduct to a neighbor, is clearly under a spell of self righteousness and delusion. It is bad enough that our neighbors, co-workers, and relatives will falsely accuse us from time to time, but at least they know they are speaking lies and normally those lies are exposed. However, what is horrible is when they are not speaking lies and all we can do is bow our heads in shame.  Next time you are getting ready to step into “the next dimension” (your flesh) think twice, think about who you represent, think about who’s watching & listening and think about who’s name you are really tarnishing, don’t give your neighbor any justification to accuse you, step back, hold your peace and exercise self control.  In Peter’s words, “BE CAREFUL!”