“Your conduct among the surrounding peoples in your different countries should always be good and right, so that although they may in the usual way slander you as evil-doers yet when disasters come, they may glorify God when they see how well you conduct yourselves.” (I Peter 2: 12, JB Phillips New Testament)
This counsel for international affairs in biblical days is wisdom for us today as well. It is also instructive for our individual lives. Our behavior toward others, even those with which we disagree or who are less than respectful of us, should be honorable. While it may be easy to get into the dirt and to throw stones, it isn’t healing or helpful.
Let’s do our best to leave a good impression, to pause and do what feels right and kind. Let’s not let judgment run away with us and begin to do unto others the very thing we hate them doing to us. Let’s not make assumptions about a group of people or an individual based on our own limited viewpoint.
The best thing we can do is let our true values shine. We can allow God’s own qualities within us, that higher voice that guides us, to lead us to our best thought and behaviors. We can then respond with noble goodness, rather than reacting with actions that are beneath our integrity.
Our good actions in times of trouble as well as in the good times, glorify God. They express the power and beauty of His nature and the unity of His creation—a world made to show forth His harmony and His Love.
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