What is the best thing about being a Christian?
There are two ways to live life. One is to do what you want, when you want. It means that you always try to get the best for yourself, and you don’t really think about other people. It shapes your choices about what you do in life. Will you choose to drink what you feel like then put up with the consequences in the morning? Will you choose to say the things that feel very funny and make you sound hilarious but hurt the people around you who thought they could trust you? Will you choose to be unpleasant to other people until you can get exactly what you want?
Or will you choose to live in a way that honours God? Will you think of other people first, will you choose to love others around you and help encourage them by building them up rather than bringing them down? Will you put God first?
The thing is, we are called to good things in Christ, but life wasn’t exactly a bed of roses for him even if he was God. He had to suffer and die and give himself so that others could be free. Through suffering we are changed and transformed. When life is hard, it helps us imitate Christ, and living for God somehow becomes easier. Instead of living for yourself, suddenly there is a change to mean you can live for God instead.
Peter explains how we can do this. We can be alert and of sober mind so that prayer is always possible. We can love one another and be prepared to share with one another and give each other hospitality. We can use the gifts that God has given us. When we do this, then God is glorified in and through us (a great thing – it means he gets the glory, not us.)
Father God, help us live lives that echo your will, not our own desires. We’re sorry for the times we live for ourselves and fail to see you at work. Help us see our gifts and bring you glory through them. Amen.
What gifts has God given you – what skills and talents do you have that you can use to bring him glory? We all have them!