“Why Be Normal?”
Has it been tough to explain to your old friends exactly why you are so different? You probably have had some pretty interesting conversations for the past couple of weeks. Everyone wants to know what makes you act so different. They’re curious about your new direction in life. Some people just don’t understand. Maybe you’ve been made fun of or some people won’t talk to you anymore. What happened when your new friends and old friends met?
In today’s reading, did you catch that first verse? You are an alien, not from Mars or Jupiter, but you are someone in a place where you do not belong anymore. In other words, you are a Christian living in a world that doesn’t, and can’t, understand your faith. In some ways, you are like a soldier caught in enemy territory. That’s where the hostility exists.
So, how do we respond to this hostility? We can’t beat people up or resort to name-calling. The people who are rejecting you are the same people Jesus died for. In fact, you used to be just like them a few days ago. Today’s reading, in verse 12, God’s word tells us what to do. We are to live good lives. When we are treated poorly, we treat people nice in return. We pray for people who do not like us or understand Christians. We return hate and rejection with love and acceptance. It may be hard to do, but God will enable you to love your enemies.
Take a few minutes and pray. Pray for your friends who do not understand your faith in Jesus. Ask God to give you patience and understanding with them. Ask God to use you to tell your old friends about Jesus.
Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.
1 Peter 2:11-12 NLT
Oh, and don’t forget your verse to memorize this week (2 Corinthians 5:17)!