For Doing Right
Christopher B. Harbin
1st Peter 3:9-22
Life is full of disappointments and expectations. The one depends on the other, for we can only become disappointed when our expectations are not fulfilled. The greatest disappointments come when we place too much confidence and hope in our expectations. It is not that we should not have expectations. They are necessary to life. We should not base too much of our security upon the reliability of our expectations, however. After all, God calls us to place our confidence upon God, not in our grasp of the future.
Perhaps one of our greatest expectations, and the one which causes us the greatest measure of disappointment, is expecting to be rewarded socially and materially for being faithful to God. We tend to believe that if we would only do what is right, that all will go well for us. After all, God is love, and God wants what is best for us. God must, therefore, want to shower us with the material blessings we earnestly desire. We are children of God, citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, and therefore we should live as princes and princesses of the ruler of the universe.
Conveniently, we overlook the fact that the wealthiest people on earth are not those who are the most committed to honoring and serving God. Billionaires like Bill Gates, George Soros, the Koch brothers, and the Walton family are not known for any special degree of piety and spirituality. While they continue to invest their fortunes for further gain, it is the Mother Teresas of the world, giving of themselves to others who stand out as examples of spirituality, piety, and justice. We are well aware of the discrepancy behind believing that God honors faith and righteousness with economic gain. The realties of history do not back up such a concept. Neither does the Bible or the experience of the primitive church, much less, the life and ministry of Jesus, our supreme example for faith and practice.
When Peter writes to the disciples in ...
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