I’ve always liked the line by Will Rogers which says, “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” His thoughts weren’t new. Centuries ago, the Apostle Peter wrote: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12)
As I look through my morning news feed and check social media, I am increasingly aware that our world needs the gospel. But it doesn’t need us to yell it any louder or type it all in capital letters. Yes, we need to clearly explain our hope in Christ, but it’s becoming ever more important that we live in such a way that Christianity becomes attractive to the world around us.
We are all familiar with how unattractive it is when someone is arrogant, defensive and rude towards others. Christians don’t mean to come off as superior, but sometimes our manner is a little high-handed. We end up driving people away rather than drawing them in. Showing kindness and compassion, helping those in need, being thoughtful towards others: these things demonstrate we have become new creatures in Jesus.
Christians are called to model a new and healthy lifestyle in community, to leave aside our old sinful ways and do some practical good in this world. It was true for the early church and it is true for us today: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”