Have you ever been misunderstood? Like, where you intended one thing but it was misinterpreted and represented as something else. How did you feel in that experience? Frustrated, angry? What did you want to do? Get even, fight for your reputation, argue to set the record straight?
All of those would be natural responses – but if you’re in a situation where the mechanisms of power are geared against you and your arguments are disregarded – then what?
That was the plight of the early church in Asia Minor to whom Peter was writing. This Sunday we’ll be reading 1 Peter 3:13-17 and Peter will be calling his fellow believers to action in the face of unfair treatment and misrepresentation. The call to action is very distinct, yet it carries a host of implications for us to this very day.
As you read the passage, v13 provides the 1st call to action. How would you define “being zealous for what is good“? How would that have any bearing on people misrepresenting you?
The second call to action is found in v15. What preparation do you think is necessary for making a defense for the hope we have? How does Peter say we should present that defense?
The third call to action in v16 is more internalized. Do you think this is calling for sinless perfection? If not, how can we have a good conscience – what is the most obvious way to prevent the label of hypocrite from sticking?
This should be an interesting study this Sunday! See you there!
One thought on “Traveling Gracefully through an Unfair World”
As I read your comments and then Peter’s I am reminded that typically when I believe I am misunderstood it is caused by MY rightness exerting it’s ugly face over someone else. My rightness extends from the smallest thing upwards and includes MY rightness of God as well. Peter is pretty clear that it is not our rightness that counts, but the rightness that was demostrated on the cross. Of course that rightness did not result in getting in your face directly, but by taking on judgement on Himself. I have discovered that the most desolate place on earth can be the mountaintop of my own rightness