Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
1. What does freedom mean to you?
2. How do you respond to unanticipated inconvenience or constraints?
3. Where/when you find yourself lashing out, whether externally or internally?
4. What or whom do you fear? What do you think can write the epitaph over your life?
5. Does it make sense to you that if you fear only God you are free? Why or why not?
6. When Peter tells his readers to do ‘good’, he’s not telling them so much to be privately pious, but to be public benefactors. How does that inform your understanding of Christian witness? How can you/we be public benefactors?