For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do… 1 Peter 4:3
Last week we talked about suffering and death being out of fashion in our Western world. So too is judgment. Many Christians today fear making public their views on matters of ethics, thinking they will be branded judgmental or fundamentalist and therefore excluded from the conversation. Others fear sharing their faith and calling people to embrace God, for they don’t want to name another’s sin or selfishness. But Peter, like Paul, calls us to leave our old lives behind.
We become new people at our conversion, but we have to keep putting on these new selves daily as we put on Christ. We can easily be allured back to our old selves – perhaps with drunkenness, or gossip, anger, bitterness… the list goes on. But God doesn’t want us stuck in our former ways of behaving. He lives in us through his Spirit, giving us the power to be transformed. To resist the drink or nasty whisper or hastily exclaimed words of anger. As we ask God to change us, moment by moment, he will. He delights to make us more like him.
Our behavior will speak more loudly than our words to those around us. Like Peter, they will notice that we’ve put our past fully behind us, no longer slaves to detestable practices. Though we may struggle still, the light of Christ living in us will be revealed.
Prayer: Triune God, though you are the judge, you are merciful. Help me to choose life today. Amen.