The ‘time between’ is sometimes marked by trials and suffering (1:6) and injustices; it is a time when Christians may be misunderstood, wrongly accused and mistreated; it is a time when the values of this world often conflict with Kingdom values. This is the world in which we live!
We live with the tension of standing firm in our Biblical values and beliefs, while seeking to influence those who may not agree with the truth we hold to as Christians. While some of these truths and values are easily defined in the pages of the Bible, we also have to wrestle with areas that are not always black and white; particularly when it comes to how we choose to respond to those who have a different world view.
We hold to the sanctity of all life, but does that mean we picket the clinic of the girl who does not share the same values, who will not listen to our reasoning and instead goes ahead with an abortion? Or do we sit in the waiting room, take her home after and help her rebuild her life?
Do we refuse to marry a pregnant bride in the church who recognizes that this is not the ideal way to enter into a marriage or start a family, or do we try to do everything we can to seek to encourage her / this couple?
Do we refuse to attend the same-sex union of a grandson, or do we attend, having told the him that we don't approve, but we love him and desire to protect the family bond, keeping the door open for further opportunities to influence his life with the truth of God’s Word?
Do we refuse to provide a memorial service for one whose lifestyle does not align with Biblical standards or do we reach out to a grieving family, to minister to them, to bring comfort and encouragement and share the hope that is ours in Christ?
What do we say to the homosexual, lesbian or transgendered neighbor? Do we condemn their choices and speak of the judgement of God, (be careful how you answer—remember we are all under God’s judgment and in need of divine grace), or do we tell them God loves them and share the truth of His goodness and mercy?
The list goes on. How do we respond? How would you respond?
Peter exhorts us: 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. (2:12)
Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. (2:17)
If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. (2:20-21)
The ‘time between’ – this is the world in which we live, and it’s not easy! So, let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)