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Wang Xiaoying (pronounced Shao-ying) lives in a rural area of China’s Yunnan province. Due to health problems, her husband couldn’t find work in the fields, causing hardship for the family. Her mother-in-law attributed the trouble to Xiaoying’s faith in God. So she mistreated Xiaoying and urged her to go back to the traditional religion of her ancestors.
But because Xiaoying’s husband had observed her transformed life, he said, “Mother, it isn’t enough for Xiaoying alone to believe in God; we too should put our faith in God!” Because of the noticeable change in his wife, he is now considering the good news of Jesus.
People will watch our walk before listening to our talk. The best witness combines good behavior with appropriate words, reflecting the difference Christ makes in our lives.
This was the apostle Peter’s instruction to the first-century believers, and to us, on how we can introduce Jesus to a hostile world. He challenged his readers to be “eager to do good” (1 Peter 3:13), to live obediently in Christ, to have a good conscience, and to be prepared to explain to others why we have such hope (v. 15). If we do this, we have no reason to fear or be ashamed when people mistreat or slander us because of our beliefs.
Whatever our situation, let’s shine for Jesus where we are. He can provide the grace we need to reach even those who don’t agree with us.
Lord, we tend to react defensively when people shun us or attack us for our faith. Give us Your courage to offer wise and gentle responses when we are mistreated.
The more we live like Jesus, the more others will be drawn to Him.
First Peter was written to those who were being persecuted because of their faith in Christ. In 1 Peter 2:11-25, echoing Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 5:10-16, Peter encourages the believers to live holy lives and to do good works so that those who don’t believe might be won to the Lord. In today’s passage he encourages followers of Christ to remain faithful, to continue to “revere Christ as Lord,” and to be ready to share the gospel when the opportunity presents itself (3:14-16). Paul makes similar calls to godly living in his other letters (Rom. 13:12-14; Phil. 2:14-16; Col. 4:5-6; 1 Thess. 4:9-12; Titus 2:7-8). Sim Kay Tee