As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all of your conduct.

1 Peter 1: 14, 15

 

Reflecting on this passage requires a confession to be made. So here goes, I can be very childish, and trust me on this, it is not a good thing for me to be this way. There are times, even days when I demand my rights, my way, that my idea or viewpoint be accepted. I put my foot down and throw some sort of epic tantrum in response to what I perceive as slights from others or when things don’t go as I would prefer for them to go. This is not a pretty sight for others to view, and it is humbling and frustrating to experience, too.

 

Peter is talking about these literal loss-of-control moments, but even more so he is speaking to the way that I and most of us fail to honor Christ by aspects of the manner that we live and by the words that we say. There are many ways that this failure to honor Christ is expressed. It can be found in coarse and demeaning language, it is stated in narrow and bigoted ideas, or we can be exclusionary when Christ would have entered into another’s life. Also, Christ in us is not on view when we seek power and dominance over others, as we bow down to our culture in fear of losing status or position, and when our momentary wants and desires are placed above God’s truth.

 

Still, in all things, Christ calls upon us to be like children, just not childish. There is a very real difference. The obedient children here are ones who know and accept the fact that they need to humbly submit to the superior wisdom and understanding that comes from God through His Word and by His Spirit. There is no need for us to be ignorant of God’s will or to act out of our immature passions. For, as Christ is in us, we are holy. We are set apart from this world and from its influential control over us. Yet, as Christ empowers us, we can live fully in this world and bring Christ’s righteous love to every corner of it while growing in our own maturity as holy children of God.