For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. – 1 Peter 2:15-16
We live in a world where everything seems to be an argument. There is no debate, just repeating the same thing only louder. Instead of dialogue, people prefer diatribe. When compromise is called for, instead we see conflagration. There is no doubling back, only doubling down.
Words – even though they were invented to facilitate communication – are deployed to confuse. Ideas are used as weapons, convictions employed as tools of misdirection, prejudices embraced as substitutes for the truth, doctrines granted more authority than God, and text (scripture and Constitution) wielded with the intent to prove who is “right” rather than to reveal who is our neighbor and to help us live together in peace.
What does scripture teach us?
So this morning’s “Coffee and a verse of scripture” uses words to direct us away from words and encourages us to speak clearly via lives of goodness, mercy, justice, kindness, grace, light, love, and promise.
“The ignorant talk of foolish people” is an ongoing theme that Evil uses to destroy so much that is positive in this world. Gossip can tear a church apart; false reports constantly confuse people who are not willing – or maybe not equipped – to do the small amount of research necessary to confirm what is true; deception and outright lies will eventually destroy a democracy, and undermine a free society that is based on trust.
So what are we called to do as followers of Jesus? “It is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.” Live as free people, the writer goes on to say, but don’t misuse that freedom as a justification to add to what is already wrong.
Just practice goodness. Love mercy. Do justice. Commit to kindness. Walk humbly with God. There is no need to argue, instead we must let the way we live faith out loud do the talking.
There is a quote from 10 Life-Charged Words: “Tell the truth about the Gospel of light and love simply by being.”
Peace – in every way – DEREK