“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 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.” (I Peter 2:11,12 NIV)
When Peter writes this letter to Believers–especially to those who are new to the faith–his greeting lets people how he views them–friends.
When we write a letter to a friend (I know–strange concept huh), how do we greet them? Dear______! What’s more important is how we treat them. Do we love them enough to tell them the truth or do we simply keep quiet and let them fall by the wayside of life?
Peter urges all to abstain–don’t give into–from sinful desires which engage our spirits with our fleshly drives. We can do it. We have Holy Spirit to give us strength to fight off the urges of the flesh which desires those things that are not good for us. Sometimes, in order to fight that fight–we have to remove ourselves from certain environments or people to make sure we are not enticed or led astray. Those who deliberately lead another astray–away from doing what is right–are not friends, they are fiends–tools of the devil.
We are to live the good life that God has planned for us–doing what is right no matter what others think or say. In fact, we are told to do to keep doing what is right or saying what is right to the extent that those who find fault with us, will soon acknowledge that we are indeed messengers of God and live according to His Divine Plan for us. When they see us not caving to gain favor of others, but living to please God, they will be convinced and some will change their ways because of what they see in us–the love of God shed abroad in our hearts–filled to overflowing onto others! Hallelujah!
Are you a friend that loves enough to tell your friends the truth? Do you love your friends enough to live God’s Best Life for you in front of them? Do you love your friends enough to be a living letter of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
I love you enough to always pray for you–that you’ll understand why I do what I do and say what I say–in agreement with God’s Word–so that I will spend eternity with you in heaven and together, we will glorify God at the foot of His throne. I love you enough to back you up in all the good you do and to admonish you when I see you going astray. I love you enough to always tell you the truth, even though the truth may sting for a moment. I love you enough to be there when you need me, always ready to listen and to encourage you to do things God’s way!
Love, your friend in Jesus!