The Encourager

The Encourager

“Why Should We Care About Conduct?”

Why Should We Care About Conduct?

by David Dann

The apostle Peter writes of the relationship between the Christian, his conduct, and his Heavenly Father in the following manner: “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear” (1 Pet. 1:15-17, NKJV).

Conduct has to do with one’s behavior and manner of life. Why should we care about our conduct? In answer to that question, please notice the instruction provided in the first letter of the apostle Peter concerning the importance of godly conduct. The right kind of behavior on the part of a child of God will:

1. Lead others to glorify God. Peter writes, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2:11-12). Godly conduct is not intended to glorify the Christian, but is instead intended to bring glory to the Lord, who has instructed the Christian to behave in an honorable manner. As Jesus put it, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Godly conduct can lead even those of the world to glorify God.

2. Silence those who are foolish. When it comes to submitting to the civil ordinances of man, Peter writes, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Pet. 2:15). The world is filled with foolish people who blaspheme the Lord and who seek to constantly point out what they perceive to be flaws and hypocrisy in the actions of the Lord’s people. But godly conduct on the part of the Christian can silence even the most foolish critics.

3. Win unfaithful mates to Christ. With regard to the marriage relationship, Peter writes, “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear” (1 Pet. 3:1-2). While angry outbursts and malicious behavior will alienate husbands and wives from one another and from the Lord, godly conduct can serve as a powerful influence when it comes to winning one’s mate to the Lord.

4. Cause the enemies of righteousness to be ashamed. Peter writes, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed” (1 Pet. 3:15-16). Since we refuse to approve of those things which the word of God condemns, followers of Christ are often branded by the world as being hateful, mean-spirited, or intolerant. But godly conduct on the part of the child of God can serve to put to shame those who would disparage and malign His people.

Conclusion: Since the Lord is coming in judgment and will destroy the present world, Peter asks, “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?” (2 Pet. 3:11-12). How is your conduct?