This chapter is another bullet list of behaviors that Peter expects his readers to live by. Many of the actions are listed because of their impact on non-believers: Put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander Long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation Come to him Proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you Abstain from the passions of the flesh Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that … they may see your good deeds and glorify God Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution Put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil Be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. Follow in his steps. – When he continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. Die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. –
For me the most striking is number 10. We are to be respectfully subject to leadership – even if we don’t like them. This should guide our behavior in a time when there are deep divisions in our community. Our primary aim is to glorify God and lead people to Him, not to win an argument. Wow.