Romans despised Christians because everyone knew they were horridly wicked people who were cannibalistic, incestuous, atheists. It was primarily these accusations that caused even the immoral Romans to despise, persecute and slaughter the “vile” Christians who deserved to perish.
Christians were atheists because they denied the existence of the Roman gods, cannibalistic because at their secret meetings they would eat flesh and drink blood (references to the Communion / Eucharist). And in the perverted mind of the Romans, talk of loving your brothers and sisters could only mean one thing, incest. Christians were evil people who held secret meetings to do the vilest of things and deserved torture and death.
Have you ever been slandered, accused of things you did not do, lied about? How should you handle it? Here is Peter’s advice:
1 Peter 2:15
It is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.
Peter does not encourage the Christians to fight for their rights, defend themselves, let folks know all these rumors were not true, though obviously, if they were asked or the opportunity presented itself, they should proclaim the truth. But Peter said the way to silence ignorant talk is to live such a life of uprightness before people that they see such claims could not possibly be true.
You and I are going to be misunderstood. People tend to assume the worst and whatever we do can be misinterpreted. We can spend all our time defending ourselves, running around trying to squash every rumor, put out every fire, constantly explaining our actions but explanations are often seen as excuses or justifications by those who have already passed their judgments. Words will not convince them.
“It is God’s will that by doing good” we silence ignorant talk. In other words, live in a way that people who know you know evil accusations could not possibly be true. Live to make your ways pleasing to the Lord and let Him take care of your reputation and the rumors. Your efforts to defend yourself will likely only make things worse anyway. But living to please the Lord will provide benefit even if it does not change anyone’s opinion of you.
When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.
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