1 Peter 4:3-4 1 minutes to read

1 Peter 4:3-4

For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you;

Not everyone is going to be pleased with your new way of life. In these verses Peter highlights how the people in the world’s culture around you will react to your new life in Christ.

First, they will be surprised. They won’t understand why you don’t live for human passions. They will see you as strange because you are driven and motivated differently. Since they haven’t been transformed, they don’t know any other way to live, so you, and your way is judged as odd and out of place.

Second, expect to be maligned for your different way of living. Given you used to live that way, in a flood of debauchery, they will take offense to your lifestyle. Since you walked away from that way of living they rightly assume that you see it as inferior to your new way of living for God’s will. This will convict them of their lifestyle. They will either want to turn to Christ and join you or much more commonly, it will cause them to malign you.

A word of caution is appropriate here. It’s one thing to be misunderstood and maligned for doing right but another thing to do it in such a way as to cast judgment on those who live in their flood of debauchery. If people sense judgment against or a superior attitude of pride in you they might be maligning your attitude not necessarily Christ, whom they don’t see because you are the one you are presenting as superior.

Reflection

Are you sensing a difference in how people treat you? If not, is it because you are not living a different lifestyle? If so, have you checked yourself to make sure you aren’t projecting pride through a judgmental attitude?

Prayer

Help me remember that I used to live this way also, and only due to your grace, I have found something better to live for. May I project humility and compassion toward those who haven’t been transformed yet by your amazing grace.