Read 1 Peter 2
Focus on verse 15-17
The way the media portrays politicians in America often makes what should be a serious discussion look like a carnival of clowns. I suspect that in some cases it is not just the way the media portrays it, but the way our elected officials and bureaucrats actually behave. Unfortunately as of late it seems that the more ridiculous the
behavior, the more air-time they get, which pushes to the background those men and women who are actually attempting to do what is good for the nation.
I’m not certain there ever was a time when politics was an honorable vocation – I would like to think so – but perhaps it would be more accurate to suggest that somewhere in the midst of what often appears to be a festival of foolishness, there are some honorable people who actually serve the best interests of the people who elected them. If it were not so, I do not believe this nation would not have survived as long as it has.
In today’s reading the Apostle Peter encourages those who follow Jesus that showing honor to everyone, the effect will be the silencing of ignorance.
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. (v. 15-17)
Once again it is important to note here that it is highly probable that the Emperor leading the Roman Empire at that time was not what most people would consider an honorable person, particularly if one was a Christian. This was written during a time when Christians were considered a threat to the state because they refused to worship the emperor, so they were essentially being hunted down and exterminated by state. Those who lived in the city of Rome often were forced to hide in the catacombs beneath the city, yet Peter states that they can live as free people by living as honorable servants of God and one another.
I have often marveled at how obvious the ignorance of foolish people is when they are shown respect and love by an honorable person. The contrast is obvious unless you happen to be the ignorant foolish person – in that case you might not see it. I only know this because I have experience on both sides of the equation, and from that experience, my assessment is that in both the giving and the receiving, I prefer honor to ignorance.