The Silence of Critics
For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
I Peter 2 v 15
The alternative to living in accordance with the will of God is to live in subjection to the lusts of the flesh. If we live in accordance with the master plan of the Lord, we would be living well and keep ourselves from the misery caused by serving the lusts. God’s will is for us to do well, to live well. This is the reason He chided Cain saying, “ You could have done well like your brother Abel.” Cain had an equal opportunity to do good but his attitudes led him into a downward spiral. Like any parent the Lord wants His children to do well, to excel. In order to do well, we need to be whole-hearted in our commitment and our desire to serve the Lord. It is ignorance and folly that leads people into doing evil, to pander to the whims and vices of the flesh. Scripture says that they are wise enough to do evil but not knowledgeable enough to do good. But when we claim we know the Lord personally, the source and author of all goodness in heaven and on earth, we ought to aim to be like Him, to excel in all that we do, to do good, to exhibit wisdom and knowledge from every pore of our being.
The good that we do is evidence of our faith in a good God. Even those who oppose us or are hostile to us would see it and have a glimpse of the absolute goodness of the Lord. Faith is the horse driving ahead while our good works are the cart that follows once we are saved by faith and grace. Good works are the fruit while faith is the good root of salvation. The Holy Spirit tends the tender root with the water of the spirit of anointing and the insight into the word. Like a tree has many branches, we should aim to do good in a variety of ways, at home, in our workplace, in the streets, with friends as well as strangers. We need to do good without expectation of quid pro quo or a return on our efforts. We do not do it to gain a good reputation among our peers or society. When we do well, we give an effective answer to those who question our faith. We silence our critics through the unchallenged logic and eloquence of a life lived well.
The good Samaritan faith in the oneness of God and of all mankind without regard to race or nationality or colour or religion led him to be different from the other travellers on the road on seeing the plight of the injured man. Our faith generates a strong desire in us to align ourselves with the implicit and specific will of the Lord in our lives. We do not do good deeds to earn brownie points with the Lord for if such was our motivation to earn favour in His eyes on the ground of our works, it would seem like “dirty rags”. It is a natural outflow of the supernatural goodness or love of God or agape that we have tasted or experienced. It is a reciprocation and transmission of that goodness or light.
Prateep V Philip