1 Peter 2:12 (NIV)
12 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.
Peter is writing to believers that have been dispersed throughout that part of the world. Because of persecution and other factors these believers have been scattered. Peter gives them instructions on how to live and then gives the directive found in verse 12. Live in such a way that even those who oppose you will see your deeds and glorify God.
I am struck by how simple and direct this instruction is. In a simple phrase it tells us how and where to live. "Live such good (Godly) lives among the pagans…" I often hear Christians talk about building a "hedge of protection" around their children and that sounds noble. But that same hedge that protects them keeps them from influencing the people outside the hedge with the Gospel. We have developed a Christian sub-culture that keeps us from engaging the real culture. We now have Christian music, schools, clothes, bookstores, nightspots, and on and on I could go. We have created this to keep us from being polluted but the culture and in so doing we have lost any opportunity to engage the people we have been called to reach. Studies show that the longer you are a Christian the fewer non-Christians you associate with. It is important that as individuals we intentionally put ourselves in places where we will have contact with people who are not yet followers of Christ. That is why Rotary and Bowling are so important to me. In both I am with people I would not meet otherwise and I am with some who are far from God. The challenge is for me to live in such a way I am not seen as "holier than thou" and am approachable. I live is such a way that they see the Savior. That is my desire and today I am reminded of why I must put myself in places where I will have meaningful contact with those whose hearts are far from God.
Lord, help me to live in such a way that those around me might see you. Let me love "pagans" with your love and point them to you. Amen