They are surprised that you no longer join them…


1 Peter 4:You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of dissipation, and so they blaspheme.

It would seem that Peter is either writing to Jews who live among Gentiles or actual Gentiles. In either case, these Christians have embraced a new way of living. In other words, they no longer do “what the Gentiles like to do” but live for the sake of Jesus Christ. Peter writes of their former friends, “They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses…”.

In my case and that of the original readers of this letter, one of the consequences of following the Lord is the severing of former patterns of behavior and relationships that come with them. This was one of the most difficult aspects of my own faith journey, creating distance between me and people I cared about because my former lifestyle was not compatible with faith in Jesus. In some cases I’ve been able to re-establish relationships with new boundaries. Yet in other cases I have not – and have lost those people forever. It makes me sad to think about it all these years later. Lord console us who have sacrificed relationships for the sake of our faith in you. Amen.

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