It’s All In The Attitude

I Peter 3

1 Peter 3 8 9

Aretha Franklin said it best in her hit song:   RESPECT – all she needed and wanted  was to be given a little bit of respect.   Are we not the same?  In I Peter 3 the apostle starts off by reminding the readers that they are to give respect and behave respectfully so that others will be won to Christ through their exemplary conduct.    What it all boils down to; summarizing his words is that;  in relationships mutual respect is key for both individuals, having the attitude of  honoring  the other person above themselves.  Imagine if everyone in our world today adopted this same kind of respectful attitude.  What a different world we would live in.

Have you ever seen someone who was dressed beautifully but then opened their mouth to display an ugly attitude?  Isn’t  it always disappointing to see?  In this chapter the apostle Peter reminds us that true beauty is found on the inside.  Our attitudes and  actions towards others speak louder than the clothing or jewelry we wear or the hairstyle we choose.  God desires for us to be beautiful on the inside and shine that outwardly.  In our world today we seem to be bombarded with the notion that beauty can be bought or acquired through purchasing – however true beauty is a quality that cannot be bought or sold.

Further on in verse 7 and 8 He points out that answers to prayer can be hindered by actions and attitudes of not being respectful toward one another.  We are not to be quarrelsome, we are to seek peace and pursue it.  This is the righteous expectation that believers are called to.  In verse 12 we are reminded that the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears attend to their prayers.

We are to live righteous lives being sure of the hope we have in Christ.  In the final section of I Peter 3 the apostle Peter reminds the believers that they are to be sure of the hope they have.  This hope is believing  that Jesus is the only begotten son of God, that his death provides forgiveness and salvation from sin, and that his resurrection gives us the hope of eternal life.  Belief in these things and the outward symbol of baptism is the indicator of the believer’s new life with Christ.   With this new life in Christ, the believer is then called to live a life of righteousness that pleases God our Father.

-Merry Peterson

 

 

Winning Respect

1 Thess 4 11

I Thessalonians 4:9-12

9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

I find these verses to be quite fascinating. Paul was writing to believers who were living in the first century in the Roman Empire. Their lives as disciples of Jesus were to stand out from the lives of those outside of the community of Jesus. They needed to live lives that earned the respect of those outside of the Church. Paul’s instruction on how they were to do this is what I find so interesting: lead a quiet life, mind your own business, work with your hands, do not be dependent on others. In that society, Paul believed that non-believers would be more open to hearing the message of Jesus Christ if his followers lived lives worthy of respect, focused, hard working, quiet. There’s nothing flashy or exciting about this counsel, simply to live a steady and hard working life.

As disciples of Jesus today it’s becoming increasingly more challenging to win the respect of people outside of the Church. Perhaps we need to go back to Paul’s simple and undramatic counsel and live out that lifestyle.

-Jeff Fletcher