Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why This Job?

Did you notice when Peter talked about showing honor to harsh bosses he said that we need to do it patiently? (1 Peter 1:19). When we do, God considers it commendable. God is our real boss and has placed us under the one who hired us.

We are used to thinking of ourselves as free agents to make decisions as we see fit. But we tend to forget our choices never interfere with God's specific design for our lives (Psalm 138:8; 139:17; Proverbs 16:9; 19:21)

God may or may not reveal to us what his purpose is in giving us the job he has arranged on our behalf. It may simply be a lesson in patients and faithfulness. It is always a lesson in faith.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why Tolerate an Unwise Boss?

Why should we tolerate unwise bosses? Why should the ignorant man or woman get by with mistreating subordinates? Don’t we have an obligation to resist that kind of behavior?

Peter says we must be submissive, even when a boss is harsh because that is what Christ did for us. We were ignorant toward God, showed him great disrespect.” (1 Peter 2:19-21).

But Jesus was not always silent during confrontation. Sometimes he confronted individuals calling attention to their hypocrisy (Mathew 23:27). Yet he submitted himself to the commands of those in authority (John 10:17-18).

It is important to maintain a balance when dealing with the unjust. A good rule of thumb is not to allow the other person’s behavior to control ours.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Wise Boss

“Employees, be submissive to your bosses with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh” (1 Peter 2:18).

Not always an easy thing to do.

A wise boss will recognize the ability of employees and encourage them to succeed. They give them room for creativity and provide opportunity to relieve stress when pressure becomes too severe. A wise boss recognizes that some employees have more knowledge than he or she does and will allow the employee to make decisions. A wise boss also allows for errors because he or she recognizes that mistakes are the nature of being human and the blood of creativity.

Unfortunately, not all bosses are wise.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Conduct Becoming a Servant

Peter sums up his exhortation on how to live among ungodly men by saying, “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17).

It takes a great deal of effort to honor the unjust. We need the Holy Spirit to give us the ability to show honor to the rude and ignorant. It helps to remember God created that individual. He or she may be far from what God designed them to be, but they were nevertheless created in the image of God.

Loving the brotherhood can also be difficult when someone does or says something that causes us pain. The only way to sustain such high standards is by continually living in the conscious presence of God.

That may be why Peter added the admonishing to fear God. Recognizing our own unworthiness when compared to the righteousness of God stimulates our ability to forgive and accept others in their unworthiness.

Finally to honor the king or president is to recognize that God set up the lines of authority. He is the One who sets up kings and presidents. He is also the one who destroys them. Therefore to show honor to the king or president is to honor God (Romans 13:17).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tricky Business

We certainly have great liberty in the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:12; Romans 14:14). Peter gives us guidelines to use in our liberty. He admonishes us to use our liberty “as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God” (1 Peter 2:16).

It is tricky business to use the liberty Christ purchased on the cross to attempt to hide our addictions. We may convince others we are exercising our liberty. We may even convince ourselves. But we will never be able to convince God (Hebrews 4:13).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ignorance is Noisy

Have you ever noticed how much a foolish man loves to talk? He can babble for hours without saying anything.

Proverbs 10:19 says, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable…” The foolish man abounds in his ignorance because he does not remain silent long enough to listen and ponder wisdom. Therefore his accusations are quick and shallow, but their arrows are sharp and can cause destruction. That is because there are plenty of unwise individuals who love to listen.

Peter advised, the way to handle foolish men is by maintaining a life that is submitted to authority. He says this puts to silence the ignorance of foolish men (1 Peter 2:15). They have nothing that can substantiate their empty accusations.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Silence Everyone

Peter describes what it means for our conduct to be honorable. He writes in verse 13, “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.”

This is the way to put to silence the accusations of evil men (1 Peter 2:13-15).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day of Visitation

Peter wrote, “having our conduct honorable among the Gentiles that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:12).

What is the day of visitation? Is it the day people see what we have been doing? Is it the day we all stand before God in judgment? Is it the day Holy Spirit visits them with conviction and our behavior bears testimony to God’s grace? Is it the day we are in a situation that could destroy us but our good reputation with outsiders protects us?

Whatever the Day of Visitation means, we know our conduct must always be honorable among unbelievers. Because it is the nature of people to speak evil against God’s children, it is important that our behavior is always guided by God’s divine principles.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I hate ants in my house. I notice a tiny one crawling around in my kitchen. It doesn’t take long until a line of ants are marching across my counter to the tiny drop of sugar left after breakfast. Getting rid of the ants is no easy task. In California the laws requires pesticides to be so watered down that it may take months before the poison is built up enough in their system to kill the ant's nest.

Poor choices are like the drop of sugar. We enjoy pleasing our sweet tooth, but it doesn’t take much time until a long line of consequences encroach in our relationships.

We think we have not change since eating the forbidden fruit. But everyone around us is painfully aware of our behavior. Outsiders notice and begin to relate to us differently. Without intentionally setting our minds to destroy it, our reputation is deteriorating over time.

Peter said, “having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:12).

We won't be able to sit on the fence forever. We will eventually lose our balance.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Soul War

Our soul is made up of our mind, our will and our emotions. Peter strongly advises us to “Abstain from fleshly lusts” because they ‘war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

When we continue to give into desires or cravings that do not bring glory to God, we weaken our will power with each failure. We bring confusion into our minds and our emotions get out of control.

At first we believe we can handle it “this once”. Suddenly we are trapped and wonder how we let it get this far.

The moment we find ourselves in an old trap, instead of lying down and letting the quicksand flow over us, let’s call out for help.