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 (NIVUK)
I love history documentaries. Lately it has been medieval and ancient history that has drawn my attention. I don’t know why. It may be a fascination with how people lived in (and around) castles, defended their own, rode horses and what their drive was to attain glory for themselves and their families. The chivalric code was a real thing, I learnt. It had many rules that focused on piety and faith. Although knights were defenders and fighters in battles, they fought for God. Another set of rules covered how to take care of and fight for those who could not, like women, children, and the sick. A knight's job was to be a shining example of God and morality.
This wasn’t a new idea for the Middle Ages, though. It comes from scripture. Our passage for today, in fact. It has been and remains one of my favourite verses. A beautifully simple combination of challenge and grace giving us direction in no uncertain terms about how to live our lives and why.
Essentially, in my opinion, it comes down to living for glory. Living a ‘chivalrous’ life that can’t help but be noticed and recognised. But the glory is not for us. The glory, recognition and appreciation goes to God.
‘that … they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.’
How we live will be noticed, whether good or bad. This verse encourages us to make it good rather than bad. To leave a good taste instead of a bitter one in the mouth of those who notice, regardless of how they respond or what they say. Do good so God will get the recognition. That’s it. Simple as you like.
As I go into this new year I am aiming to live my life in such a way that God will be recognised in me, and receive the glory and adoration due his name when he comes again.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for a new year and new opportunities to live for your glory. Forgive me for the times my life did not show that I love you. Help me, by your Spirit, to live such a good life that people will recognise you living in me. Amen.
Photo by Ahmed Hasan on Unsplash