1 Peter – Chapter Four IX

by Ed Urzi

“In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:4).

Those who are content to live their lives apart from God may find it difficult to understand why others seek to honor Him. Thus, we have the following reminder from 1 Peter 4:4: “Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you” (NLT).

A person who makes his or her life choices without regard for God or the afterlife often finds it hard to comprehend why anyone might pursue a different set of values. While some may dismiss those who seek to honor God (often with an attitude of amusement or indifference), others may feel compelled to “heap abuse on you” (NIV). Thus, we should be prepared for the fact that some will mock or ridicule those who are genuinely committed to living a God-honoring life.

It’s been said that people tend to belittle things they don’t understand, and it’s fair to say that such responses may arise from a lack of understanding. For instance, many people find pleasure in a lifestyle that revolves around drinking and partying. It might be difficult for those individuals to fathom how anyone could lead a satisfying life without immersing themselves in a similar culture.

These realities present us with a choice: do we opt for cultural conformity with others, or focus on a life that is pleasing to God regardless of what others think? Before we address that question, it’s helpful to remember that no one in popular culture ever sacrificed their lives for us, as Christ did. No one in popular culture rivals Jesus as a model of love and humility. No one in popular culture has ever stood up to the members of a corrupt establishment as fearlessly as Jesus did. No one in popular culture comes close to living up to Jesus’ example.

Thus, we should ask if we will live our lives to please God (who is worthy of our devotion) or please others (who often provide the wrong example). And if our spiritual lives do not prompt non-Christians to question our choices, then we should take the opportunity to question ourselves. If our lifestyles are indistinguishable from those who have no interest in Christ, then something is likely to be amiss in our relationship with Him. We’ll explore this theme at greater length in our next study.