What Type of People Should We Be?

by Pastor Dan

“What sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” Peter 3:11b

What a question to ask someone.  In this context of scripture, Peter was talking about realizing that the world was going to end at some point in time because Jesus Christ was going to return.  Now, that's certainly something to think about, but the greater question is the question that Peter actually poses:  What sort of people or, should I say, what sort of person should I be?
As a young man, I was confused if someone would ask me this question because there were some individuals around me that were one type of person at church and another type of person during the week.  Now, maybe all of us are like this in certain ways and places in our lives, but Peter is asking us to take an inventory of our actions and thoughts to align them with those of Jesus Christ.  These actions and thoughts, when properly lived out, will be seen by others around us.

Even today in my role as a pastor or as a counselor, I struggle with these questions about life.  Why do people act, speak, or treat others the way that they do?  To be able to help others, oftentimes I must ask myself that same question about me.  Now, there’s sometimes no good answer as to why we do the things that we do, but there is an opportunity for us to allow God to change our speech and our actions.

But let's get to the heart of the matter.  When our heart, which is where our emotions and our will resides, is being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ, life can be so much different.  Yet that is really tough at times because we see things that happen in the world around us, and we have to make decisions that we think are right for us.  If we are going to make decisions that are right for us and that also shares with others the joy of a relationship with Jesus Christ, then we must discern what God wants us to do in light of what we see.  This is truly a battle line in our personal lives that we must deal with in order to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

When this battle line is based upon the true Word of God, then our emotions and our will must align with God's will for that situation in our life.  When we take time to pray and ask God for discernment about what we should do in situations that we see in the world around us, even though we may be confused about what we see, God gives wisdom and strength to understand his response for us.  When we are aligned with God's will and purpose for our lives in these tough situations, then even though there are difficult actions that are needed, we are at peace with the action because we know God is with us.  That's why Paul said to the church in Philippi (and I believe that I can repeat this for us today):  “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
Are you going through some tough times in your life?  Do you find yourself unsure of what is happening in the world around you?  Are you uncertain about your future?  Then seek God, find others who are seeking God, and enjoy the wisdom and strength that the Holy Spirit gives to those who seek Him.  May God bless you richly in all things.

Pastor Dan